T Nation

Neglected Pecs

I have a problem.

From years of playing rugby( occasionally American Football),maybe incorrect benching technique(don’t know,nobody has ever commented)and familial arm-wrestling,I’ve accumulated enough shoulder trauma so that any sort of pressing type movement with enough weight to challenge my musculature is not really a sensible option at the moment.

The crux came when I couldn’t resist getting involved in an arm-wrestling competetion at my new work.I knew I’d messed up immediately, and benching in the week after confirmed it.Suffice it to say that I made a commitment to myself not to get involved in that type of ego boosting rubbish anymore.

My point is with no bench or dipping and flyes painful too,what are my options for pec training?Is there another exercise that I haven’t thought of(been at this for a while so I don’t think so)?Or do I have to just hope that working around it for a while and doing various rehab type exercises won’t mean too much atrophy until I can hopefully start to do these exercises again(dips were painfree until arm-wrestling stupidity)?

Do pronated pull-ups give enough pec stimulation to forstall wasting?Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.

Stop worrying about your pecs and start worrying about your shoulders.

Also, read Eric Cresseys shoulder savers part I & II.

I’m not on here an hour out of everyday to miss good articles by contributors!

Of course I’ve read it!It was mainly that which caused me to post,and your reply was very helpful thank you.

Now if you actually have anything constructive to say…?

Fix your shoulders. There is plenty of articles on this site to make your shoulders healthier

Straight arm pulldowns, or pullovers from a high rack position (rainbows), with an emphasis placed on flexing the pecs will stave off atrophy. These do not have to be heavy at all. Can you perform the shoulder movement that I demonstrated in article #1? If so, it involves the upper pec fibers pretty well.

Try this exercise. I know its a small picture, but these work REALLY well. Trust me, lots of guys have tried almost every exercise they could think of to help shoulders and this one works. Some say it works within days.

www.s10forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=82565&d=1144683653

Out of curiosity (and I’m guessing the answer is yes) but… do pushups hurt as well?

Maybe you just need rotator cuff work (and lots of it) along with lots of shoulder rehab. Maybe you should see a physical therapist or doctor?

Jim Wendler recomends pin pulls, his article provides some info on their uses. I would give them a try to help with shoulder traction and pec development.

Did you win the arm wrestling?

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/magic_pin_pull.htm

[quote]keaster wrote:
Jim Wendler recomends pin pulls, his article provides some info on their uses. I would give them a try to help with shoulder traction and pec development.

Did you win the arm wrestling?

http://www.elitefts.com/documents/magic_pin_pull.htm[/quote]

At least go to elite and post your question to Dave Tate, Wendler or Michael Hope.

Thanks for the responses lads.

Yes I did win the arm-wrestling competition,but there was no competition really.Last guy was korean-american and had strangely long forearms which messed up my mechanics and I think exacerbated the twisting and strangeness in the glenohumeral joint.I knew I’d fukd up immediately.Swore that was the last time.@ home all the boys have a competition every Xmas(which since I was 18 I usually win).In 2000 my 67 year old dad got involved and ended up with a 6 month long frozen shoulder(nobody beat him though!)so I suppose that I should have heeded the warning back then.

Did a physiotherapy degree so I don’t think it’s a rotator cuff problem(could be though).Have totally blown both AC joints tackling in rugby and A.Football,so I assume that therein lies the origin of the problem,but it doesn’t localise over the AC joint so I don’t know.Impingement maybe,one of the test that Alwyn Cosgrove mentioned in his shoulder article a while ago(the one about clasping your hands behind your back,one from the top,and one from the bottom was positive,but the other test was negative).

At the moment I’ve dropped all movements which cause discomfort and am doing movements which are prescribed for rehab(lying and seated lateral shoulder rotation and pronated striaght bar seated rows)in the hope that these and resting the sore movements will allow me to get back to benching at some point(one of my fav and strongest movements(ego calling again?)).

Again thanks for the advice.

I’ve had the same problem as you for a long time (minus the arm-wrestling thing) and in the end basically narrowed it down to just straight arm pulldowns and pullups.

Bear in mind these only work the lower portion of the pectoral muscles:
sternal pectoralis major and pectoralis minor.

Luckily the pectoralis major sternal is a LARGE portion of the pectoralis major

www.exrx.net/Muscles/PectoralisSternal.html

Working out at firehouse or home means no mean to do straight pulldowns and
pullovers engage the rotator cuff to much at the start in my opinion.
Now i’m just concentrating on shoulder rehab.

You really can’t isolate the pecs from the front deltoids.

How would pin pulls tax your pecs?

So your first priority should be to rehab your shoulders.

Sorry if this isn’t the answer you were looking for.

[quote]Wreckless wrote:
You really can’t isolate the pecs from the front deltoids.

How would pin pulls tax your pecs?

So your first priority should be to rehab your shoulders.

Sorry if this isn’t the answer you were looking for.[/quote]

Here’s the quote from Jim Wendler

"Jim, love the articles and keep up the good work. I have to admit that I love powerlifting but have a guilty love for building mass. What I really need is to build a bigger chest. Any tips?

Tom, Gaylordsville, Conneticut

Tom,

Thanks for the compliments. I think we are all a little guilty of wanting to be bigger. It?s our nature! So no apologies needed.

As for building your chest, I think the pin pull is probably one of the best chest exercises out there. You are probably scratching your head, but let me explain:

The pin pull puts tremendous strain on the pec. Don?t believe me? Grab a training partner?s pec (make sure you get consent first) while they do them or perform a few reps while looking in a mirror. You won?t believe the contraction. If you have ever torn your pec, you know how much it hurts to pull. This alone shows how much pec is involved with the pin pull. And don?t forget that you can handle much more weight on the pin pull then the bench press. Bigger weights = Bigger muscles.

My advice? Get in the rack and tug.