T Nation

Popping/Cracking Shoulders

Awhile ago I injured my right rotator cuff by going too deep into a dip. I completely stopped working out for a few months to let it heal completely.

I started up again and feel no pain so far. I do however hear some unpleasant sounds coming from both my right and left shoulders when I do movements like the bench press.

Any advice on insuring my rotator cuff never acts up again, and what these crackling shoulders could indicate?

give up the bench press, at least dropping the bar all the way down to your chest. maybe some rack presses or something would be ok. but don’t waste your time on regular barbell bench, you’ll just tear up your shoulder more. plenty of healthy chest exercises you can do. (i’m NOT the expert here, just going on advice from a LOT of other people who’ve had surgery due to rotator cuff injuries)

second, noise is not a big deal unless it hurts. if you’ve taken a lot of time off, you probably need to just get your joints back into the motion and strengthen up the area. do a search (if it works, i’ve heard it’s not working on the new site) of the forums and you’ll find a lot of posts about crepitus, popping etc.

I was in the same boat about 4yrs. ago…after rehab I got in the gym and started back light with DB bench presses to build a little stability and did lots of rotator cuff exercises and stretches…I also found that tight trap muscles tend to cause a little discomfort also…After building the stability and little strenght back I started doing bench presses on a low-incline. That seems to take a little pressure of the shoulder joints as long as you don’t use a wide grip. My shoulder still pops and cracks but with no pain…just be careful and not over anxious…Stay motivated.