T Nation

Bar Dips and Sternum

I’ve heard that teenagers and “young-uns” should not be doing weighted bar dips or Dips in general for that matter.

It supposedly causes problems with the sternum.

I have never found any evidence of this being true and I did them as a teen with no problems.

My younger brother (16) and stong/lean like myself is starting to venture into weighted dips at the end of his chest/tri workout.

I was wondering if anybody had any proof to qualify or disprove this myth.

I did search but found people talking about pull-overs, etc.

I found a few articles that talked about doing dips but no discussion on these implications, etc.

Thanks

Gerdy

I know that dips still make my sternum hurt like hell during and after, and I’m 19. I avoid them.

They do damage my shoulders a bit… but i do like them … i am … um…

28…

ahem.

Joe

Never heard of that whatsoever Gerd, not to say there is not truth, just never come across that in my travels once.

Joe

Ive never had problems with em and I dont bench, only dip for chest work. I think the key is to make sure the eccentric is slow and controlled so you dont run into problems like popping your sternum, EEK!

You dont bench? You DO do presses though?

I have heard some people get pain in the sternum but it was never a problem for me.

I definitely feel weighted dips right in the middle of the sternum, but for me it feels more like a muscular or tendon thing, like a real deep stretch (only more unpleasant). I actually have wondered if something was going to tear in there, but so far so good. It makes me wonder if the pecs attach at that point, and its some pain in the attachment.

I don’t have a problem with them, and for most people over 18 or so there shouldn’t be a problem.

I remember reading somewhere that in younger people, the ribcage/sternum is not fully developed yet and it can possibly cause cartilage damage or cause the sternum to pull apart from the ribs.

My little brother is pretty damn strong especially for being 150lbs wet. He is doing like 3 sets of 15 with dips and wants to add weight but I was unsure if this would be healthy for him or not.

It doesn’t hurt him at all.

I have always kind of thought this sternum thing to be bogus as long as you are performing them properly.

Thanks for the opinions guys and definitely add anything else you might have…

thanks again

Gerdy

When I was 13 or so they hurt like hell. It felt like my sternum was getting torn in two. By the time I was 15-16 it went away. It has to do with the cartilage still being flexible, if your brother doesn’t feel pain it probably wouldn’t be a problem. He could probably add weight safely, but should stop if he feels any discomfort. He will know if he feels it.

[quote]Joe Joseph wrote:
You dont bench? You DO do presses though?

[/quote]

I do dips and lots of overhead presses of all sorts, mainly dumbbell and kettlebell one arm lifts (KB Presses, DB Presses, Bottoms Up Presses w/KB, Push Presses, etc…)
To me the +/- for doing benches just aint worth it, whereas back in the day when OH pressing was the norm, you just didnt have all the shoulders problems and injuiries like it seems to be the case these days.

[quote]Defekt wrote:
When I was 13 or so they hurt like hell. It felt like my sternum was getting torn in two. By the time I was 15-16 it went away. It has to do with the cartilage still being flexible, if your brother doesn’t feel pain it probably wouldn’t be a problem. He could probably add weight safely, but should stop if he feels any discomfort. He will know if he feels it. [/quote]

Hey thanks bud. That’s what I thought, that’s what I did at his age too. A good rule of thumb when lifing. If it hurts don’t do it. lol

Thanks again…

Gerdy

The clavicle is certainly one of the last bones to finish growing, but I haven’t seen any study linking this to pain during dips. I know I felt it in my younger years. As long as one is aware of the possibility of pain and backs of if pain does indeed occur then no seriously adverse effects will arise.

Both young and older lifters should be careful with dips, maintain proper shoulder posture (keep shoulders tight and low, not up at your ears), and when finishing a set, come down slowly, and ease off (so many people finish a set by dropping down uncontrolled putting serious stress on the joints. lower slowly, and ease off.)