T Nation

The Shoulder Horn

I have been posting about the evils of Bench pressing for quite sometime. Unless you are built specifically for this unnatural exercise (shorter arms and barell chest), you will become injured from doing it. It is not a matter of “if” but “when.”

One thing that I have found that has helped, not only myself, but many people on the road to recovery from Bench pressing injuries is something called the “Shoulder Horn.” Not long ago I recomeneded this device to someone on this board, and they did not know what I was talking about. I tried to explain what it was but I feel that my explanation fell short.

For those of you who have never heard of the shoulder horn I suggest that you go to www.shoulderhorn.com and take a look at one of the best devices that I have ever found that can strengthen your rotator cuff and bring you back from Bench pressing injuries.

I have no stock or any financial interest at all in this company. Most of you know that I do what works, and have done so for over 30 years of hard training. That’s one reason I like T-mag and Biotest products. And also the reason that I like the Shoulder Horn! As most of you more experienced guys know, there is a lot of hype that surrounds the world of muscle building. When I find something that keeps me healthy and training hard I want to share that information with all of you. I have been using the Shoulder Horn for about six years now and the results are nothing short of miraculous!

Whether you want to keep Bench pressing, (not a good idea), or give it up for a more sane chest exercise, give the Shoulder Horn a try.

What do you suggest instead of the bench press?

How does this device compare (in it’s effect) to a external rotation machine?

I don’t know about ZEB but personally I hardly ever train full range bench press. Maybe every two months or so to see where I’m at. Do more partial ranges of motion, board presses, floor presses, rack lock outs and also dumbells are good.

www.elitefts.com sells them too for a couple of bucks cheaper, and there articles and q&a are very informative and helpful, so if I was buying one I would support them. Check out “http://www.t-mag.com/nation_articles/307exer.jsp
for a poor man’s variation with a dumbell.


I like flat and incline dumbbell bench pressing. The freedom of movement with the dumbbells, and the fact that you are not going down as far eliminates shoulder problems.

I also love Push-ups! Weighted Push-ups, incline Push-ups etc.

S&C Coach,

Sorry, I am not familiar enough with the external roatation machine to answer that question.


Just out of curiosity, how much better is this decivce than when performing the “poor man shoulder horn” properly (i.e. elbow drive into knee, knee drive into elbow, etc.)?

Obviously it is better, but I do not have a lot of money, so is this something i should really be saving for, because it is far better than the manual version?



Nice to see a fellow Torontonian on board… as for the poor man’s Shoulder Horn, I think it should work…

I own a Shoulder Horn and as I take public transit to work and then go the gym after work, I can’t lug that around too much so I do the poor man versions at the gym. I also grab the sholder horn and blast out a few sets when watching the news after coming home from the gym.

I find it helps with ROM and it locks in your shoulder in the position to really feel it in you rear and medial delts well.

yeah, i’m with creed. this is one huge reason why westside guys and well…basically most powerlifters use the boards and such so frequently. since i’ve been using boards and floor presses it’s been way more comfortable for me to bench even with a scarred up right shoulder girdle.


Thanks for your advice, maybe i will look into getting one, however, next on my list is a dragging sled.

P.S. I live in Windsor :slight_smile:

Thanks again for the help!


DB Presses should add more range of motion not less ZEB.
With Db’s you can go past your chest with a barbell you can not.


S&C Coach,

The word “machine” says a lot in itself. Why in the world would you want to fix muscles that are most important as dynamic stabilizers in one line of motion?

Good post, ZEB. It’s a great piece of equipment, but not absolutely necessary by any means to properly train the external rotators. In reality, the proper functioning of these three muscles are just one component of overall shoulder health.


I like the Shoulder Horn better than any manule movement for shoulder health. I honestly don’t think there is a good substitute for the shoulder horn. My advice: Save up for one!


When I Dumbbell Bench I only touch the plates to my chest which gives me a few extra inches. I feel that those few inches are very important. When you touch the bar (on a straight bar bench) to your chest you are really putting your entire shoulder girdle in a very weak and dangerous position.

Also, I have never had any shoulder pain doing Push-ups from any position, even with loads of weight on my back. I think that relates once again to the hands not going as deep as they do on a Barbell Bench press. Also, the angle is more advantageous to the shoulders.


I don’t think any piece of equipment is absolutely essential. However, some are far more important than others. I think as we age we learn to appreciate what tools keep us healthy and training. The Shoulder Horn is such a device for me.

I am not stirring up the pot, but I remember the late great Mel Siff saying that by and arge, there is not a real need for isolation exercises for the external rotators. I will find the article and post a link. Also, Isn’t there a lot of external work done with power cleans?

ZEB it makes sense that the pushups would put less stress on the shoulders because they are more akin to a decline bench press than a flat bench press. And the shoulder as in the decline, as you say is less involved.
As a side note the other thing about pushups is that the load increases at the bottom. I once did pushups on a large set of industrial scales and noticed that the amount of load increased by 10kg at a BW of 88kg so it went from 50kg at the top to 60kg at the bottom. This is why you are most likely to fail at the bottom and the bench can often fail higher up.

jp dubya,

you can’t possibly “stir anything up.” I know what works for me and I do it! I simply want to pass this information along to others so that they may benefit as well. If you choose not to do it, I have no problem with that.