T Nation

Dips/Shoulder Damage

I was looking for a good tri exercise which uses a full ROM and has tris prime movers (when doing close grip benches, esp with shoulders tucked, I get a great shoulder workout… If I lower the bar to my neck and keep my elbows completely flared, my tris get one hell of a work out, but I heard that neck presses kill shoulders, always).

So, I finally decide to again do dips.
Which I stopped doing after I was told to NEVER go below 90 degrees elbow flexion (technically, half ROM) because I will ruin my shoulders… not that I had any problems, but hey, they’ve been training for years so they HAAAAAAAAAAAD to know (yeah, right). After reading an article on another bb site, which also said this (forgive me, oh wise ones, for ever looking to such a *%$$#**##{" site), I decided to eliminate them from my program. Now I read that Mr. Poliquin advises for a FULL ROM.

Any idea if dips are indeed bad for your shoulders when using the complete ROM?

(1. I never had/don’t have any shoulder injuries/pain/discomfort/etc.
2. The parralel bars at my gym are set pretty wide apart (say some 5-6" to each side past my hips))
Thanks

I am going to say that dips are in that same category as overhead pressing (see recent Think Tank discussion), especially behind the neck… it varies from person to person.

If you can do them without pain/injury, they are a great exercise. If they cause you problems, they are not such a good exercise.

I love dips and have worked up to a single with 160 lbs attached to my waist. I do them for about 3 weeks at a time with at least twice as long off. No shoulder problems so far.

LA

[quote]LA wrote:
I am going to say that dips are in that same category as overhead pressing (see recent Think Tank discussion), especially behind the neck… it varies from person to person.

If you can do them without pain/injury, they are a great exercise. If they cause you problems, they are not such a good exercise.

I love dips and have worked up to a single with 160 lbs attached to my waist. I do them for about 3 weeks at a time with at least twice as long off. No shoulder problems so far.

LA

[/quote]

I agree. If you don’t have any shoulder problems, then you should be able to do full dips and overhead pressing without any problems. However, if you begin to notice pain or it does cause an injury, you may need to take them out of your program.

I used to perform dips all the time. After I injured my shoulder, I had to stop doing them. I only do them once every six months or so because of the pain they cause. I also had to stop overhead pressing for quite a while. But I have begun to work them into my program again…cautiously.

Thanks… So the fact that the bars are pretty wide apart doesn’t matter, right (mean for my shoulders)?
Overhead pressing… rofl. When I read articles about overhead pressing and shoulder injury I feel like screaming. DO ONE ABOUT OVERHEAD PRESSING AND SPINE HEALTH ALREADY, WILL YA? :slight_smile:

Dips should be fine for your shoulders. If the bars are a little wide that can cause problems (at least in my experience). however, see how it works for you. You can actually work up to quite a bit of weight on the dips if you train properly.

Jason Feruggia of WSB credits his shoulder problems to heavy weighted dips. He says that it is best to do higher reps and not super heavy low rep sets. I think this is posted on the elitefts Q&A.

-J

Dips are one of my favorite exercises. Yes they can aggrivate a shoulder, but only if there’s a shoulder imbalance or you use too much weight. This too much weight issue in dipping is what i feel causes problems. I was never a fan of using too much weight in the dips. I preferred to do more reps with diffrent styles (elbows close, elbows wide) as i fealt that body weight exercises should be kept basic. Besides dipping with more weight did not give me a bigger chest.

It may also depend on the type of injury. I had my left shoulder separated a few years ago, but I was back a doing deap weighted dips after about a year. So even WITH a previous injury, they may be doable (see your doc if you have persistent &/or intense pain, obviously).

I believe that typically, wider bars with a deaper dip will work your chest more. That’s my understanding, anyway.

Matthew

I echo what everyone else has said regarding shoulder pain, it’s an individual thing. I also agree with the idea that manipulating reps and sets rather than a bunch of weight added is probably better. I also weigh 255 lbs, so I don’t see it to be very necissary to add a bunch of weight.

I would add that you should also look at the “angles” at which you dip. When I say I angle I refer to your torso in relationship to the ground. I tend to lean forward a little instead of being perpendicular. Subtle changes like that can add or take away from shoulder strain.

Wow, good timing on this thread!!
Since I passed the 50 mark a couple years ago I’ve been making quite a few mods to my workout just to keep it going.

One of the changes I had to make was to my Dip routine. After years of shoulder work, bench press, baseball, raquetball, hard labor, etc., the old shoulders have a mind of their own. I found I could still include dips but only partial reps (1/2 to 1/4),no added weight (I’m 240 so no real need), not on chest or shoulder day, not too often (every 3rd week or so) and varying the angles (torso forward, backward, wide grip, narrow grip). As long as I play by the rules I seem to be okay and can still lift my arms to comb my hair!!

Besides, throwing all those variables into the workout keeps me from getting bored and fixating on the aerobic instructors!!! Anyway…
Jimbob

Sorry, the bars are only 4" more than my waist/hip width. rofl
I went to the gym today… did them full range… I didn’t even feel them in the shoulders…

At least now I know better than to listen to the people at my gym… I mean, I didn’t feel anything in my shoulders, I just stopped because to many people told me stop and I was a complete beginner…
Dips rule!!!

My program now: <training for the OAP, now doing lock-offs and negatives>, dips, 2 sets of extensions (I just like’em too much, tough I’m not a bodybuilder), and the next session weighted hypers, abs(leg raises, hanging circumductions, L-sits, dragon flags-cycling through), forearms&calves. And again, dips are more than great.
Long live Mr. Poliquin!!!

I recently added dips to my routine and i have injured my shoulder but i would say it more my fault i was doin deep dips with full ROM without a warm-up.