T Nation

Alternative Overhead Movements, Injured Shoulder


40+ competitive PL'er here. Been dealing with a nagging shoulder injury for months now. Standard grip pressing is excruciating and I have no strength. Been hammering squats and deads with whatever upper body I can muster. If i do a 3 way strong band stretch throughout my sessions I can usually get through upper body pretty well. BP and overheads are out right now though.

I've found I can bench with the Swiss bar ok and will prob start throwing in some chains on a Swiss floor press this week. I'm going to try Swiss bar overheads, neutral grip DB presses and some seated pin presses too. Just seeing what works to get some activation/strength back.

Any other suggestions for overhead stuff I might try? May see an ortho if relief doesn't come soon although it's prob a waste of time. Probably arthritis/tendinitis of shoulder or bicep tendon from squatting and mixed grip deads. Need to increase (ok...start) more rehab work at home too.



Look up the Diesel crew shoulder rehab protocol. You should feel a noticeable difference within a couple weeks.


It’s hard to say what will or won’t bother you personally, but I’d try landline presses. It’s not a pure overhead movement, but its a decent replacement for people who can’t get totally overhead without pain. Tony Gentilcore goes over form cues and variations in detail in the second half of this article: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/the_truth_about_overhead_pressing. Other than that, machine presses, partial ROM stuff, or chain/ band overhead pressing is worth looking into.

As for bench substitutions: neutral grip benching (DB or Swiss bar), neutral floor pressing, board pressing, decline close grip benching, and reverse grip benching may or may not work.