T Nation

Dips & Shoulder Health

Simple question. Do dips negatively affect shoulder health? I have seen plenty of articles that discuss dips, and the impingement that they cause, which can be disastrous. Is it true?

They are one of my favorite exercises, but I would rather give them up than destroy my shoulders. If done with fat bars, a good close grip, and normal ROM, are dips a good or bad exercise (health wise)?

If you’ve been doing them for a while and haven’t hurt your shoulders yet, youre probably in the clear. I can add about a hundred pounds and bang out sets of 12 just fine. Never had a problem with them. It’s different for everyone.

Normal dips are very bad on my shoulders, but I’ve found when using a Hammer Strength Dip Machine I haven’t had any problems and can handle some pretty good loads.

Dips are pretty much the only semi-chest exercise that I can do without pain. My left shoulder is junk.

Anything can cause anything. If it hurts, don’t do it. If it doesn’t, nothing to worry about.

[quote]BONEZ217 wrote:
If you’ve been doing them for a while and haven’t hurt your shoulders yet, youre probably in the clear. I can add about a hundred pounds and bang out sets of 12 just fine. Never had a problem with them. It’s different for everyone. [/quote]

I used to be the same way. Unfortunately I messed up my shoulder going to heavy/low on DB chest presses (no surgery needed), and ever since then I feel pain there when dipping. I guess I just have to give 'em up, although it will be hard to do.

Have you tried any shoulder rehab/prehab protocols?

I was having a bunch of shoulder issues that would come and go with even my pathetic weights in the gym. Some of it was technique based, and some was anatomy/musculature based. I’ve been doing some shoulder prehab stuff that was PM’ed to me and I can tell that it’s been helping since I’ve had none of those issues since. I’ll forward you the PM if you want.

[quote]ridethecliche wrote:
Have you tried any shoulder rehab/prehab protocols?

I was having a bunch of shoulder issues that would come and go with even my pathetic weights in the gym. Some of it was technique based, and some was anatomy/musculature based. I’ve been doing some shoulder prehab stuff that was PM’ed to me and I can tell that it’s been helping since I’ve had none of those issues since. I’ll forward you the PM if you want. [/quote]

Yes I have been, but I would love to look at what you have in addition. My shoulders are pretty healthy again, and I don’t have any pain on the first couple sets. It’s usually the last one or two when the pain kicks in, and its pretty dull, I just don’t want to aggravate anything if I don’t have to.

Some people think cucumbers are better pickled

Well, are they?

[quote]WestCoast7 wrote:

[quote]ridethecliche wrote:
Have you tried any shoulder rehab/prehab protocols?

I was having a bunch of shoulder issues that would come and go with even my pathetic weights in the gym. Some of it was technique based, and some was anatomy/musculature based. I’ve been doing some shoulder prehab stuff that was PM’ed to me and I can tell that it’s been helping since I’ve had none of those issues since. I’ll forward you the PM if you want. [/quote]

Yes I have been, but I would love to look at what you have in addition. My shoulders are pretty healthy again, and I don’t have any pain on the first couple sets. It’s usually the last one or two when the pain kicks in, and its pretty dull, I just don’t want to aggravate anything if I don’t have to.[/quote]
I used to get pain in my right clavicle area during dips, but then it stopped one I changed one thing. When you dip are your shoulders kind of shrugged up towards your ears? During dips I now depress/retract my shoulder blades and kind of extend my neck upwards, and now no more pain.

Yeah, I have to be really careful with this shit because my clavicles are unstable and pop in and out of the socket when my hands go above shoulder level. It doesn’t hurt and has never gotten in the way, but I’ve had nightmares about my clavicles just ripping through my neck the night before shoulder day. I wimped out on OHP that day ahhahah.

Dips cause my left shoulder to ache for about 3 days. I don’t do them anymore.

While i love doing dips for my tris, whenever I would attempt them for my pecs, my shoulders would just take a beating. Eventually I figured out that my creating a low decline (3-4 olympic plates under one end of a flat bench), I can get a similar lower pec squeeze and not wreck my joints. I later found that Jim Cordova does similar low decline work (rationalizing that it hits his chest better), and Dr Clay also mentioned in one of his articles that decline work recruits more chest fibers than flat,… so I feel pretty good keeping it in my rotation.

S

individuals vary dramatically in terms of the ROM that their shoulders can take

seems that if you are having trouble, you could alleviate the problem by limiting your ROM

personally my shoulders hate overhead movements, but i’ve never had a problem with dips

this boils down to what the user feels. If it hurts, dont do it. I have no problem with them even with additional weight strapped to my waist.

/thread

This might sound like a stupid question, but how do you differentiate pain (stop doing it) from rehab discomfort (continue doing it to strengthen the problem areas)?

If that doesn’t make sense, I eff’ed up my shoulder about 6 weeks ago on a snowboarding trip. I’ve been using bands and weights to do rehab work, but sometimes I don’t know if the discomfort I feel from doing a movement means I’m doing it correctly or incorrectly. Obviously, when it’s a sharp pain, I stop what I’m doing, but when it’s dull, I don’t know if it’s part of the rehab or if I’m risking hurting myself even more.

This is my first time trying to rehab something, hence the naive question.

I quit doing actuall dips awhile back and have started doing the machine dips instead.I use to really like doing dips with 100lbs hanging from my waist but it jacked up my shoulders.The machine has been much better.

[quote]PB Andy wrote:
I used to get pain in my right clavicle area during dips, but then it stopped one I changed one thing. When you dip are your shoulders kind of shrugged up towards your ears? During dips I now depress/retract my shoulder blades and kind of extend my neck upwards, and now no more pain.[/quote]

After a good few months rehabing both shoulders, now I can do dips pain free as long as I keep shoulders retracted/depressed. Dips now give me DOMS on lower traps as well !

Dips feel terrible on my shoulders.