T Nation

Balancing Push-Pull Work for Shoulder Health?


How much pull/back work do you find necessary to keep your shoulders healthy? Can you take care of most of it with your daily work (ex. daily pullups and band pull aparts)? Do you think its necessary to do mid to low rep/very heavy work for back or does high rep work do the trick? My shoulders have been finicky in the past. I've been trying to pare down my workouts to the necessities and the big lifts. Thanks!


Not a concern for anyone else, I take it?


CT put out an article on slight incline, slight decline. that helped me lots. my shoulders have not bothered me since


That's definitely helped me too. I rarely do flat work at all anymore. Actually most of my push work is overhead, which has helped. In general though, I like to have more vertical and horizontal pulls in my programs than pushwork. Never want to get back to a place where wonky shoulders stop me from hitting solid weights again.


high pulls, snatches, cleans, military and push presses with the appropriate finishing position... balance out shoulder development even when aggressively training the horizontal pressing movements.


What I have come to learn about CT is that he is a problem solver and an innovator. He likes to address issues certain people have (performance, strength or physique or all 3) and he likes to innovate by introducing new exercises or old exercises that are very effective and from the past. My point being is that he appears to like to prescribe methods to solve an issue and/or describe methods and techniques. Thus he is trying to both educate someone how to train and at the same time teach someone to solve their own issues. His methodology appears to allow someone to individualize their plans relatively easily. That being said he still focuses on the main big lifts (squat, deadlift, bench, overhead press and an olympic lift variation) but he is not dogmatic enough to say no accessory exercises or that an accessory exercise can't be used to fix a performance based issue or an injury (i.e. adding farmers walks, facepulls, curls, chins, etc...)

CT reminds me of the Bruce Lee quote ?Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own.? One can even look at if from a via negativa approach where you discard what is useless through negation to get to the route core of what is important.

I could be way off so sorry if I am.


How did you fix that problem? I have that problem right now and it's been bothering the f*** out of me. I've been doing 2x more back work as chest work for a couple months now and while I can say it's probably gotten a little better, it's not nearly enough. I would just really like to know how to fix this imbalance.

As a sidenote, I did decline bench the other day and it didn't hurt my shoulders so I'm gonna do it more often.