T Nation

Incline Assistance Work


#1

For push assistance movements, i tend to use dips and/or dumbbell presses (I find barbell benching twice per week on top of overhead too much and the shoulders and joints) however when using an incline, even on the lowest angle, i get a bugging pain in my right anterior delt after as little as 5 reps, depending on weight. I’m ready to just dump incline work before nagging pain becomes a more substantial problem. Any suggestions that don’t involve usual broscience?


#2

How about actual science? Go to a physiotherapist. I don’t know what you expect people on a forum to be able to offer you about something occuring within your shoulder capsule. Either fix your form, do some SMR and mobility work on yourself or see a specialist. If it occurs after 5 reps every time theres something wrong, do the specialist option. Nothing we can do for you from here.


#3

Physiotherapists cost an arm and a leg and technique can often be fixed just by suggesting something like a cue that someone wouldn’t have usually thought of


#4

I’ve had similar issues intermittently in the past.
My experience with adding band pull aparts and face pulls to all my warm ups before picking up a bar has really helped. 2-3 quick sets of 10-15 of each. I do them every day I train , not just on pressing days.
Also with incline I use a neutral grip with DB and a closer grip with a barbell and don’t touch my chest. About 2-3 inches above.
That helped me.
Good luck.


#5

I hear you with health care costs. Give this a try


#6

I’ve been battling a nagging AC joint issue for awhile so I know your pain (figuratively). My approach to alleviate this was simple: if it hurts, don’t do it. I quit doing pressing movements that hurt and used cables and DBs to work the involved muscles. Unless you’re training for a lifting competition then you can do the same. Cable Fly’s of all angles didn’t bother me so I did those on chest days. Lateral raises covered my delts on days that overhead pressing hurt.

Lastly, a technique cue. Make sure you pull your shoulder blades back (retracted) and down (depressed) and lock them in position when you do your bench and incline movements. It provides the best surface angle possible for the head of your humerus (upper arm) to contact the glenoid fossa (shoulder blade) thus reducing stress on the joint.

Good luck.


#7

I would dump the incline work and substitute an exercise you always wanted to try out and didn’t have time for before.


#8

Depends where you are in the world. Physio’s aren’t a problem in countries with healthcare. But also simply by what he’s said it sounds like more than a technique issue. If he’s pushing reps on bench and OH, and has experience with benching twice a week etc. his technique should be good enough and not fundamentally wrong in some way on 1 lift that is very similar to other main movements that 1 arm is being affected. I am of the belief that if something is wrong you seek it out and fix the root cause and not drop a basic basic compound lift that is fundamental to a lot of programming. Because if it’s an issue now on this, in all likelihood it will become an issue in other areas soon too.


#9

For what it’s worth my doctor said I had biceps tendinitis. I also see a chiropractor who does a lot of tissue work. Neither have a cure other than let it heal which means don’t do things that aggravate it.

As long as you don’t have a major issue that requires surgery the recommended approach will be rest and strengthening the little muscles that hold the joint together.


#10

I press twice a week and bench once a week. I do dips from time to time sprinkled in different days. If you’re having major problems, you need them fixed before progressing. What does your posterior to anterior work look like? I personally do about 100 stretchers, face pulls, pull aprts, etc every workout and about 50 pull ups on top of other back work and I’ve never had much of a shoulder issue. Also, make sure your mobility work is on point


#11

NOV Warm Up before every session. 5/3/1 for bench 1x week, 5/3/1 for OHP 1x week. Always supersetted with a pulling movement for at least double reps of the pressing set (e.g. 10 pull reps for 5 press reps). One pressing assistance move 30-50 total reps, 2 pulling assistance 60-100 total reps each.

I get no pain on flat benching or overhead or even dips, only when doing incline work.