T Nation

Shoulder Problem

Since I started training about a year ago, I have been experiencing a problem with my bench press, shoulder press and pull-up.

When I perform the bench press and the shoulder press, my right arm reaches failure too quickly, it sort of blocks at the shoulder. I can do more reps with my left arm than with my right arm (when I use dumbells), and yet I’m right handed.

Regarding the pull-up, I’ve read that when you do pull-ups, you have to go all the way down during the eccentric portion of the movement, i.e. you have to completely extend, stretch your arms and relax your shoulders in the bottom position. When I completely extend and stretch my arms and relax my shoulders, I feel the bone in my right shoulder sort of move, unlike my left shoulder (It’s hard to describe). From that position, my right shoulder is much weaker than my left (yet, I’m right handed) and it’s almost impossible for me to pull myself back up. If I can pull myself back up, I feel the bone in my right shoulder move again. I don’t know if this making any sense… My right shoulder doesn’t hurt at all and I have never dislocated it before, so it’s just plain weird.

I think the problem I’m experiencing with the pull-up is related to the problem I’m having with the bench press and shoulder press, but I’m not certain.

I would really like to find out what’s causing these problems.

I would appreciate any ideas you would have.


I am currently grounded as I was not quite recovering from a shoulder dislocation that happened back in september 2004. I relate to what you said and just decided to get some sleep, plenty of water and a muscle nitrous supplement. I’m staying away from caffeine since it’s a vasoconstrictor and I want to get the full effect of vascularity to help reduce the built up of lactic acid. Your shoulder is probably back in place but the muscles around the area that support the joint need repair. Hence my choice of NO2 + MgO2 - caffeine.

Shoulder problems can be some of the most frusterating problems that a lifter encounters. First of all check so see if one shoulder is higher than the other (which it probably is) then stretch the hell out if. Next follow the neanderthal no more series, I think it’s probably exactly what you need. After you complete the program, if you still have a noticable strength/size difference I would possibly look for an ART practioner in your area. Best of luck.

Sounds like you may need some rotator work…
if that’s the case you could try decline benches instead of flat, and do some external and internal rotations with a downward movement with some rehab bands.

Some shoulder prolblems are postural problems.
Because you are unable to hang straight with both arms extended you might have a thoracic deveation,left or right(a curve or a tower), which won’t let your shoulder move correctly.
Check out ,www.idealspine.com, and read the left side page descriptions.
Dr tim