T Nation

AC Joint Pain with Pin Presses

CT

My AC joint on my left shoulder sticks up quite high and always has. When I started doing pin pressing (slight decline/incline) while doing the layers I did not have any pain. After pin pressing for a couple weeks the pain was there just in the left shoulder AC joint. I went away from pin pressing and have had almost no pain in that AC joint. I know I am packing my upper back and traps so I’m sure I have a solid base and I’m not “attacking” the bar; gradually pressing until it moves is what I’m doing. My question is can my “sticking up” AC joint on my left shoulder prevent me from doing pin presses? Or maybe its only a getting set up under the bar issue? I have been doing the layer system just taking a little longer rest periods due to having to rack and un-rack the bar. Thanks for you help.

[quote]jtbrown0511 wrote:
CT

My AC joint on my left shoulder sticks up quite high and always has. When I started doing pin pressing (slight decline/incline) while doing the layers I did not have any pain. After pin pressing for a couple weeks the pain was there just in the left shoulder AC joint. I went away from pin pressing and have had almost no pain in that AC joint. I know I am packing my upper back and traps so I’m sure I have a solid base and I’m not “attacking” the bar; gradually pressing until it moves is what I’m doing. My question is can my “sticking up” AC joint on my left shoulder prevent me from doing pin presses? Or maybe its only a getting set up under the bar issue? I have been doing the layer system just taking a little longer rest periods due to having to rack and un-rack the bar. Thanks for you help.[/quote]

My instincts would be to say that it’s from your set up since. If it was strictly related to your AC that sticks out, you would have pain during regular bench pressing too. YES you have to pack the shoulders, but once they are packed you need to rock the chest up.

Okay, I will keep working on the set up until I can get it down with no pain. I don’t think I was rocking the chest up to be honest so that’s probably my problem.

Quite possible, when I don’t rock the chest my shoulders hurt (right one)

Thanks for the “rocking the chest” tip. I did slight incline from pins today and had no stress, strain, or pain in the AC joint of my left shoulder. I think thats been my issue for a while because my chest is lacking in size compared to the rest of my body. I’ve always felt that my shoulders and triceps have taken over pressing but today felt very good on the chest.

[quote]jtbrown0511 wrote:
Thanks for the “rocking the chest” tip. I did slight incline from pins today and had no stress, strain, or pain in the AC joint of my left shoulder. I think thats been my issue for a while because my chest is lacking in size compared to the rest of my body. I’ve always felt that my shoulders and triceps have taken over pressing but today felt very good on the chest.[/quote]

Glad it helped. That is always what happens to me (AC pain) when I don’t rock the chest up. When doing high pulls, you must do the same rocking before lifting… actually the torso and shoulder action/position at the start of a high pull is the same as at the start of a bench press.

I think when you don’t rock the chest that most of the weight or load is on the ac joint and you are trying to press the weight with that joint more than with the pressing musceles. Definitely felt much more solid when paying attention to keeping the chest rocked. I did not know the shoulder action/position were the same for high pull and bench press. I high pull tomorrow so I will make sure I’m rocking the chest.

[quote]jtbrown0511 wrote:
I think when you don’t rock the chest that most of the weight or load is on the ac joint and you are trying to press the weight with that joint more than with the pressing musceles. Definitely felt much more solid when paying attention to keeping the chest rocked. I did not know the shoulder action/position were the same for high pull and bench press. I high pull tomorrow so I will make sure I’m rocking the chest.[/quote]

Made a HUGE difference for me… my max on the high pull was 150kg/ 332lbs… we were filming the pulls and taking pics and Tim Patterson noticed that I wasnt rocking my chest. I focused on rocking the chest and keeping the arms loose and I worked up to a 170kg / 374lbs high pull.

Wow that is a lot of weight to add just by rocking the chest. My last high pull session was just “off” so to speak. I could not get into a rhythm and the reps did not feel good. So I just plugged away hoping they would feel better as the session progressed but it never happened. Have you had experience with the high pull session just feeling off?

[quote]jtbrown0511 wrote:
Wow that is a lot of weight to add just by rocking the chest. My last high pull session was just “off” so to speak. I could not get into a rhythm and the reps did not feel good. So I just plugged away hoping they would feel better as the session progressed but it never happened. Have you had experience with the high pull session just feeling off? [/quote]

Yes, this morning :slight_smile: My nervous system still seems fried from the ‘‘camera workout’’ in which I did about 3-4x the volume I normally would do to be sure to get some good shots. Today, coordination felt bad… it’s better to go ligther and work only on having a good start position and a powerful lauch… do not think about height

That’s the term I was looking for, coordination. And thats mostly where the form felt off. My hips and legs were not in sync and therefore had a weak launch. I will keep that in mind if that happens again. I bet it can take awhile to recover from those Colorado trips…

[quote]jtbrown0511 wrote:
That’s the term I was looking for, coordination. And thats mostly where the form felt off. My hips and legs were not in sync and therefore had a weak launch. I will keep that in mind if that happens again. I bet it can take awhile to recover from those Colorado trips…[/quote]

When the nervous system is fatigued the 3 things that you lose first are:

  • coordination
  • explosiveness
  • grip strength

I believe it 100%. One last quick question. What kind of grip are you using for high pulls? I’m currently just using a normal grip as I call it, just grabbing the bar. Only problem I’m running into is pain in the inside of my thumbs by the knuckle that connects to my hand, I’m guessing from rubbing on the bar. Just wondering what the optimal grip is.

[quote]jtbrown0511 wrote:
I believe it 100%. One last quick question. What kind of grip are you using for high pulls? I’m currently just using a normal grip as I call it, just grabbing the bar. Only problem I’m running into is pain in the inside of my thumbs by the knuckle that connects to my hand, I’m guessing from rubbing on the bar. Just wondering what the optimal grip is.[/quote]

I use a hook grip for the lighter/medium sets, then use straps. I do not know of a single olympic lifter (those who do pulls regularily) who do not use straps on pulls.

Okay. I am using straps have been for awhile. I just wanted to make sure there wasn’t a different kind of grip I was supposed to be using. I tried right away doing them without straps and that was a bad idea, learned that lesson quickly.