T Nation

No Overhead Pressing

I have two hooked acromions. I’ve had tendonitis in both shoulder multiple times. Does anyone have any experience with gaining shoulder mass without ever doing overhead pressing work? Some ideas would be appreciated.

[quote]Florida Titan wrote:
I have two hooked acromions. I’ve had tendonitis in both shoulder multiple times. Does anyone have any experience with gaining shoulder mass without ever doing overhead pressing work? Some ideas would be appreciated.[/quote]

If you incorporate compound movements like dips or pullups in your program well these hit the shoulders i just don’t know how well they are at developing them. Actually a lot of compound upper body movements hit the shoulders(bench press, rows…etc) but like i said before i don’t know if they are good mass builders. How about side raises with dumbells or lying face down on a bench and doing a reverse fly. You can improvise.

dumbbell bench presses
Dumbbell bent rows

some lateral raises every now and then

incline bench!

Hows about some 1 arm snatches. Not a pressing movement, just transfer of power.

[quote]DeadOnArrival wrote:
Hows about some 1 arm snatches. Not a pressing movement, just transfer of power.
[/quote]

I’ve been thinking along the same lines.

Any other ideas? Static shoulder exercises.

Your shoulder should be getting enough work with presses horizontal and push vertical and horizontal.

Poliquin used to (maybe still)reccomend only do direct shoulder work ever 10 days or so. And only some lat raises if theyre lagging a bit.

In addition to that try the following:
1 Arm Snatches
Weighted T-Push-Ups
Woodchops
Lateral Woodchops
Rev Woodchops
Shrugs
Lying 45degree Lat raise
Maybe even Turkish Getups

Static stuff I’m not so keen on.

I used to think I couldn’t do overhead presses either. The problem is that standing square and shooting the weight straight up is about the worst and unnatural (for me) way to do this. If I press straight up, the structure of my shoulder chews it up something fierce. Here is what works for me, it is a kettlebell move.

What you need to do is more of a side-press, where you turn your body away from the weight. A good way to practice this is isometrically. Get in a doorway (stand on weight plates if you need to) so that your hand is on the underside of the top frame and still has a couple of inches before full extension. Try to lift the top frame. The trick is that your arm will straighten, but your body will twist slightly away from it.

Lock your core and find the strong position. You should be able to really give it all you’ve got with no shoulder issue. This is the final position you should be in when you shoulder press. NOTE: Because of this twist it is not possible to do a bilateral press – you’ve got to do one side then the other.

The plus is that on the way up this gets lats & triceps and lowering the weight works biceps and pecs. It is a staple of my upper body workout (I can’t bench heavy because of an old nasty shoulder injury.)

I now work shoulders regularly with no ill effect. This is the only exercise I’ve found that causes me no issue, plus it is just a good one to know, since it lets you do lat work standing.

Hope this helps…

jj

What about bent presses? They’re sort of OH, sorta not.

Also, I know we all despise the smith machine around here, but perhaps use that with light weight and you wont need to worry much about shoulder stability.

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:
What about bent presses? They’re sort of OH, sorta not.

Also, I know we all despise the smith machine around here, but perhaps use that with light weight and you wont need to worry much about shoulder stability.[/quote]

The Smith has it’s place and one of em for me is exactly this. I can even get away with some heavIER poundages with the Smith as long as I press from the front.

I would try a variety of raises (front, rear, lateral). You could focus on all three heads without ever having to press overhead. Raises may (may not) cause problems, but they are worth looking into.

Bodymasters Machine military press…Each grip is independent and on swivels so you can adjust to the movement, plus it adjusts to your strong and weak side (good for me due to rotator hassles and tendon injuries, my right arm/side is a little weaker than the left)…Of course, the problem is finding a gym with this machine…

JJ: Is this what you are talking about?

I’ve never thought of using the smith for this. What kind of ROM are you using on this machine? In the past I’ve gone to the chin and then up. I’ve tried strict BB Military from the clavicle and was out of commision for 2 weeks in excruciating pain.

I could do nothing but raises but they really don’t do much for shoulder development. But if it’s all that’s left I’ll have to embrace them.

Are you sure you can’t do any overhead pressing, at all? Have you tried to see if certain variations are comfortable?

Try Arnold presses (the PROPER way, as they are instructed in Arnold’s ‘bible’, and now the way 99% of guys in gyms do them, with way too much rotation), or push presses, or push jerks, or split jerks…? Try varying the width of your grip on standard military presses, maybe?

Are you sure all overhead pressing will cause pain? If so, fuck man… I sympathize!

I would have someone assess your thoracic spine. If your posture is out you’re inviting shoulder problems.

Try the CHEK press, or reverse chek press.
Also look at 1 arm presses with a neutral grip.

Alwyn recommends this :

WE ALL KNOW THAT GUYS NEED their space, and their shoulders are no exception. If you’ve plateaued on any overhead pressing exercise, it’s likely your shoulders have simply run out of room to grow. You see, lifting a heavy load overhead is highly dependent on your ability to straighten your upper back–called thoracic extension–during the exercise. For most guys, it’s a weakness they’ve ignored since Mom’s pleas to sit up straight. Gone uncorrected, your upper back could become so tight it prevents you from extending your torso enough to develop a full range of motion in the shoulders. As a result, you may compensate by pressing the weight out in front of you or shouldering the load, both of which can grind joints and cause permanent damage.

HERE’S WHAT YOU DO

Try the dumbbell reverse Chek press (named after training and rehabilitation expert Paul Chek) on your first training day of the week, putting it first in your workout. Stand holding a pair of light dumbbells, palms facing each other, and raise your arms to shoulder-level in front of you. Bend your elbows 90 degrees [1]. Press the weights straight up [2], then rotate your arms outward until your palms face forward. Lower the weights to the sides of your body until they’re just outside shoulder-width (as if you were finishing a normal dumbbell shoulder press) [3]. Perform 2-3 sets of 15-20 repetitions, resting 30-60 seconds between reps.

The neutral grip (palms facing each other) will increase thoracic extension at the top of the movement, while lowering the weights to the outside of your shoulders will build impressive muscle mass just like the classic shoulder press. Bottom line: Nothing is going to crowd you again.

Alwyn Cosgrove is co-owner of Results-Fitness in California (alwyncosgrove.com

[quote]Florida Titan wrote:
JJ: Is this what you are talking about?

[/quote]

That is actually more of a bent press, where you hold the weight stationary, snake under it and rise up. That is a very good (and technically hard) lift too. This is what I had in mind:

Cheers,

jj

Chek press video here:

[quote]squatdude wrote:
Chek press video here:

It’s that outside part of the ROM that really tears me up. Pressing from that position is what kills my shoulders. I was working with one of other personal trainers at my gym and he showed me a couple of ideas. He has similiar problems.

Front reverse grip presses to overhead.
Hammer Strength behind the neck press Machine facing the wrong direction.
I’m going to try those after I do the Alwyn Cosgrove’s 8 weeks to monster shoulder’s portion. That 4 week program might help out.

My shoulders are quite touchy, though yours seem worse to be honest. My left one is worse than my right. I use the smith with a fairly wide grip making sure my elbows are in my peripheral vision and use a limited rom down to about my forehead. Not the be all and end all, but it works for me and may be worth trying. I was able to make significant strength gains even (for me) doing it this way.

I also do a sort of static hold/lift where I get a dumbbell heavier than I would use for laterals put it on a powerhook and hang it on my rack on a bar about ear height while I’m bent down slightly. I position myself so that my arm is slightly bent and slightly in front just as if I were at the top of a lateral raise.

Contract against the weight and very deliberately straighten up putting more and more of the weight on the shoulder. Any pain, I just let go and the hook does the rest. If not I do a combination of raising and lowering my body to simulate a shorter rom lateral raise and sometimes just hold against the resistance as long as I can.

A bunch of different pieces of equipment could be coerced into service for something like this. It gives good control and actually allows decent work.

I hope I explained this well enough.