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chest workout with injured shoulder

I have a shoulder injury and I have been leaving bench pressing and dips out of my workouts. Does anybody have any suggestions for getting a good chest workout without these 2 exercises?

What type of injury?
Where do you have pain?
What have you tried so far?

Its hard to isolate the pecs without some shoulder involvement, so a GOOD chest workout will be difficult at best.

My advice. Give it time to heal.

I have been seeeing an ART specialist weekly for the past 6 weeks as well as stretching on a daily basis.
From November-April of this year, I did no exercises that caused pain.
The pain is on the front of my right shoulder. Lately, I’ve been trying to add some very light bench pressing to my workout, but it does not feel good.

Try push-ups. It helps strengthen the scapulo-thoracic joint, which if weak, might be the cause of your grief. It might not give your chest a best of workouts but can’t hinder in somewhat maintaining your strength.
Push-ups are a forgotten exercise and it is more functional than the bench press.

My shoulder’s been a mess for years, and I actually saw an ART guy. He put my spinatis (sp?) back in place, and I put up 330 flat for the first time in 2 years (and probably could have gone much heavier if I wasn’t so wary). Although the joint felt much better, it seemed like I would mess it up, he would fix it, I’d mess it up, he would fix it, and it went on for a few months until I figured I was just making matters worse in the long run.

Now, I don’t do any flat work or dips (I hadn’t been doing them for 5 years anyway!), and I do a lot of pre-exhaust work. Presently, I start with incline DB flyes, then proceed to smith inclines where I can set the bar for a nice stretch that doesn’t bother my shoulder.

Hope this gives some insight.

“On Donder, on Blitzen!” OK, shades of my childhood…sorry. I too, had an anterior delt injury I think due to heavy incline dumbbell work and extreme range dips w/weight added. However, this site helped; don’t remember if Tate or a poster said to bench with elbows tucked or close to your body. This really helped, FWIW. I used to bench with my elbows flared out wide and that style hurt my chest/delt more.

thanks scipio. i will give that a try.

I had a similar problem with my anterior left delt. The best advice I can give is anecdotal. I just stopped doing movements that caused pain. At first this was the elimination of all chest exercises. After a few months I began experimenting–with planes, movements, equipment. Over the next few months I found that the culprit with my pain was flat barbell benchs. I then went to dips, and for a long time it was my only chest movement. After a bit over a year, I introduced dumbbell flat benches and it’s been a few months and I feel fine. Bottom line to my recovery: rest and finding the movements that my body handles well.

I suppose I could actually answer your question more directly and suggest an exercise. :slight_smile:

What helped me the most was emphasizing the planes. Dip involves a decline type movement. By your use of the term “bench presses,” I’ll assume you’re referring to the flat bench variety. If so, try using only incline movements for awhile… with barbell, dumbbells, hammer equipment, if available.

great post stu…

i will agree with the gentleman who said pushups. my shoulder is so fucked that i cannot bench an empty bar. i can do weighted incline pushups with a 45lb plate for bout 20 reps, or with a mini- band for about 12 reps. i never knew how to put it into words, but what he said about the scapula is very true, i have felt it!

DB Bench press with palms facing, elbows tucked, Floor Presses.

I always was under the impression that spacings, as far as elbows flaring and hand positionings on bars, allowed for a differentiation of the load between the chest, shoulders and tris. I FEEL my chest work better with a wider grip, but alas, a double edged sword, as I also feel my shoulder straining as I go up in weights.

Your in luck because the 2 exercises you mention are not very good for developing the chest anyhow. Those exercises are better for developing the tris and delts. For the maximum chest development you need to perform exercises which focus on adduction of the humerus. Example, cable flyes.

Dips and bench press are not good for chest development? I disagree.
Please explain.

I did explain, reread my earlier post. The tris and delts are much more “active” in those exercises. The pectoral muscles insert at the humeral/acromial joint and are penniform in structure.
This means the fibres are arranged in a “feather-like” shape and are responsible for adduction of the humerus. Why do you think most powerlifters have small chests compared to their tris and delts? In comparison, bodybuilders however do not lack in this area because they do many exercises that take this into consideration, whether they know the physiology behind it or not. They perform many sets of cable flyes, pec dec and DB flyes. These are all examples of humeral adduction. Chad Waterbury even spoke of something similar to this in a past article I believe. I think he called one of the exercises “slide push-ups” or something like that and it basically entailed the principles I speak of in this post.

Not sure if these have been mentioned.

Board presses have really saved my shoulders. Close grips staying very tight. Horizontal pressing, such as a hammer strength press.

May not be the best, but will still give you a bench type workout while your shoulder heals.

Donder, I have dislocated my shoulder 3 times playing basketball. I cannot do bench or dips aswell. For my chest workout I do flys, incline,decline,flat. It doesent bother my shoulder as opposed to bench and dips.

Similar problem. I do incline dbell presses exclusively with some hammer strength stuff on occasion. Just make sure to warm up SLOWLY.