“Shoulder Blades Down and Back”

I don’t during the bench press. I think injuries can occur when using lots of weight if you let your shoulders move around a bunch. Virtually all of the big benchers keep their shoulders pinned. That isn’t evidence in itself, but it does seem to work.

For rows I wouldn’t try to keep them pinned in place (I don’t think you will be able to if you are using enough weight).

For something like a deadlift where the shoulders shouldn’t really move anyways, you want your shoulders as low as possible (this effectively shortens your torso making the lift more efficient). I also wouldn’t try to pin them back, because doing so will make your starting position worse (more bent over). You will also likely lose that position and when that happens you lose overall position, and the bar slows. It is something (shoulders back) beginners try to do IME.

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Well yeah, but that’s because it shortens the ROM. Hence the powerlifting exception.

Dorian looked fine repping 405 on incline, plus Ronnie with the 200lb DBs.

Like I said, PLers shouldn’t pay this any attention, but there’s no evidence to suggest that allowing some protraction causes injuries, and there is evidence to suggest that pinning them back will cause impingement and labral tears. If you’re benching to hypertrophy your pecs, it makes no sense to pin them back anyway.

This is counter to a lot of stuff I have heard from guys that are pretty reputable. Many say that not pinning them can cause injury. Most of the strains I have gotten in my delts have occurred when my shoulders became unpinned (generally during a self unrack with the J cups too high).

Do you have said evidence on this?

I am not saying I am right or you are wrong. Just not convinced.

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Yeah! Hold up, I’ve got a couple articles somewhere on scap/humerus rhythm. I should add - I really don’t flat bench, and I should have qualified that because with the position you’re in on the flat bench you can’t get the same type of regular protraction with a bench behind you and weight pushing you down. I do incline and it allows for a bit of protraction, and I do a LOT of overhead pressing where I allow for complete retraction and protraction. But give me a bit and I’ll try to find the articles I’ve read on it.

Would you say that during bench and squats particularly, you just really want to focus on keeping your upper back tight? No shoulders down and back necessarily, but almost like you’re flexing consistently through each rep? If that makes sense.

Squats, definitely. I think you need that upper back tightness and a shelf for the bar. Flat bench you just don’t have much of a choice but to have them sort of pinned if you’ve got heavy weight, being that your scaps can’t move on the bench really, I just caution against the super-ultra-tight pin.

Where I have heard the shoulder and scapula stuff is usually in regards to bench and deadlift. I believe that the deadlift stuff is wrong and doesn’t make sense from a physics standpoint.

I think in rows, chins, OHP that there should be shoulder movement. Just not convinced in bench.

Have you considered that the lowered ROM from tucking the scaps back on flat bench could be beneficial to shoulder health? People commonly use board presses to help shoulders recover.

This is a pretty good video explaining it for pressing:

But I’m trying to find the pubmed articles on scapulohumeral rhythm I’ve read and I think I’m using bad keywords because I can’t find them, haha. I’ll keep on checkin’.

Maybe. That’s a good point - I just think mechanically having the arms extended out while in retraction is detrimental to shoulder health, but I didn’t really consider the benefits of lowered ROM in that way.

Better video from Kabuki. Great demonstration and explanation.

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Not a fan of ratios. As long as you’re doing a press, a pull and a reach somewhere in your programming I think you’re good. You may consider 1:1:1 but again, there’s no hard and fast rule.

If you want to actually make your external rotators stronger, they need to be trained like any other muscle. As such, they should probably be trained 2-4 days/week max to get some degree of rest between training days. I usually just put them on upper-body focused days.

For example, my old upper body days used to look like:
1A. Bench: 5 x 3
1B. MB Throw: 5 x 3
2A. DB Bench: 3 x 8-12
2B. Cable Row: 3 x 8-12
3A. Landmine Press: 2 x 10-15
3B. External Rotations: 2 x 10-15

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