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Incline presses and rotator fatigue?

For years I’ve been trying to improve my incline presses with no luck. The problem seems to be fatigue in my shoulder girdle which is weaker and gives out before my upper pecs do. It’s not the actual shoulder muscle but deep inside the delts. I think it might be in my rotators. I notice that it gets even worse if I do back work. If I lay off of back work for a couple weeks the fatigue subsides and my presses go up a bit. But I was under the impression that you should do as much pulling as pushing. But aren’t they all working my internal rotators. I tried working my external rotators but that didn’t work either. Any suggestions. I don’t know if it makes a difference but I’m fairly strong in my fly movements, and my back movements compared to my pressing. In genreal my routine is a body part once a week Mon.Tues. and Thurs Fri.

I suggest that you check out CP’s “Achieving Structural Balance” article here at T-Mag. Specifically, test the strength ratio of your external rotations to your bench. This will tell you if your external rotators are really up to par.

I read the article and compared my external rotator strength according to the ratios in the article and everything seems up to par. Any other suggestions? Thanks for your help.

I would recommend that you make an appointment with an ART practitioner to have your shoulder checked out. Go to www.activerelease.com

Yes. What’s the angle that you have your incline bench set at?


If it’s higher than 45 degrees or so, my advice is to lower it to about 30.


Hope this helps.

i would train my rotators at least twice a week and work in lots of dumbbell presses for incline, flat amd shoulder pressing to work the stabilzers. work the upper back and rear delt hard too to build a solid base for pressing.

Given that it’s only bothering you on incline presses, I tend to think that it could be your supraspinatus, but it’s impossible to tell with the information provided. I’ll second what Mike recommended; ART is a good start.