T Nation

Isolating the Chest w/ Shoulder Injury?


I am in limbo right now with a potential labrum tear in my right shoulder. I am going to see the doc again in two weeks, but until then he prescribed me physical therapy and rest. He said it could be a strained shoulder capsule as well and that we will know more based on how it feels during the next visit.

I have been working with some rotator cuff exercises to build the strength back up in both shoulders (also have a torn labrum in my left shoulder that happened ~10 years ago. never had surgery, and it's stable for the most part). I have not done any pressing in the past 1.5 weeks, but have done pullups in addition to my RC work with no trouble.

My question is, are there any chest exercises that take the shoulders out of the equation? Everything I have ever done involved stretching or pressing from the shoulders. I normally hate isolation work, but if I need to have surgery, it's going to be until at least July before that can happen. Don't want to go all that time without being able to train that portion of my upper body.


Where is the labral tear? Which capsule is there concern about damage to? Those will be big determining factors into what you should safely be able to do.


Have not gotten an MRI yet...doc says that is the next step if things are not better the next time I see him. He did all of the ROM tests when I first saw him and said nothing indicated to him that the labrum was torn, but said that still doesn't rule out the possibility. It's just gotten into my head now since I am still in a lot of pain and my shoulder clicks over and over when I move it certain ways.

Other possibilities according to my doctor are a strained shoulder capsule and inflamed tendons. Hoping for the latter, but preparing for the worst. Have never had any problems at all with this shoulder. It was my last "good joint" since I've had torn ACLs in both knees and a torn labrum in my left shoulder.