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Shoulder Hurts When Isolating Pecs


Does anyone know a good chest isolation exercise that is easy on the shoulder.

Neutral grip DB Presses and floor presses are my main chest movements but every other chest isolation movement (DB/cable flyes, machine flyes, dead stop db flyes) all kill my shoulders.


Try some of the Hammer Strength machines.


I don't do any isolation exercises with heavy weight for chest for fear of injury, just a light very high rep pump set or two after my main exercises before stretching. Chest is growing fine. Usually the only time I tell people to do isolation movements for chest other than that is to use them before the main exercises to help develop some mind muscle connection if that seems to be a problem and their chest is a weak area. Otherwise, I personally wouldn't worry about it too much.


Try high reps external/internal rotations with a thermaband during warm ups.

Works awesome, do 1-2 sets of 25 reps for each arm external/internal. Maybe back off the pressing for a bit.

Looking down the road, you might want to spec your upperback for a bit and wake up the muscles to pull your shoulders back. As we slouch forward our shoulder impinge and more pain is felt.

The back spec phase should pull you back and open up the joint.

If you have great posture and no impingement - see a physiotherapist, your rotators could be partially torn or greatly inflamed.


yeh my chest isn't a weak area. just feels like I am missing out my not doing the isolation movements. I suppose it shouldn't really matter because I am still progressing on the bench press and floor press variations. That makes me feel a little better that you only do that amount of isolation work..


I have good posture, I wouldn't say GREAT but its definitely not an issue. What would it mean if my rotators are torn or inflamed. How do I fix that? Does it require surgery or rest?

I will try the internal and external rotations in my warm up.


Rest. If it was bad enough for surgery you wouldn't be able to even lift your arm let alone train.

It's probably inflamed. Ice, rest are the biggest things. Curcumin and fishoil can help.

I'm doing Neanderthal No More by Cressy and Robertson right now. It's exactly what I needed.

I tweaked my left shoulder benching, but ended up being rotators. So I've been taking it easy and doing that routine. Feels good and I'm improving my mobility in other areas at the same time.

Lots of posterior mass is being put on too. Win Win.


Where does it hurt your shoulders during the exercise? Also, can you post pictures of your posture even though you say it isn't an issue?

Regardless of correct posture or not, you may not have proper mobility/stability at the proper areas, including scapulo-humeral rhythm, proper scapular stabilization, thoracic mobility, etc.

I'd suggest finding what is causing the underlying pain, fix that problem, and in the mean time continue with the exercises that do not cause the pain.


Are the pics clear enough from these angles?


The pain kind of comes from the centre of my right shoulder joint. Like a fatigued burning pain. It kind of feels like a small muscle is extremely tight and fatigued and it just aches after i have finished doing any sets of isolation chest exercises or incline barbell press.


Had a similar injury several months back. I echo the advice that rest and refraining from doing any exercises that hurt your shoulder when you do them. Personally, I found myself eliminating all barbell bench pressing movements. Dumbells were okay, but still not great.

In the end, I simply focused on my back and legs for six weeks or so while my shoulder recovered. Amazingly enough, it this was exactly the right thing to do. My back and legs were lagging and the time I spent focusing on them helped bring them up to where they should be.


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Mine was/is supraspinatus as well. Getting better.

BBB - how long doing a program like Neanderthal No more and avoiding pressing movements should the injury heal? I mean is there a point say 8 weeks where if it's still bothersome to seek professional help?


I had something called Guillainâ??Barré syndrome in my other shoulder so that forced me to only work legs and back for 3 months because I couldn't handle any pushing movements at all. This corrected my posture greatly because it wasn't the best before that.

I will just steer clear of the exercises that hurt it and see how it goes. Thanks for the help guys