T Nation

Training Traps w/ AC Joint Problem


I separated my AC joint(shoulder) in dec and its an injury Im trying to work around. Basically, I can't hold heavy weight by my sides and shrug up, so no shrugs, deadlifts, olympics lift etc. Is there any other way I can add mass and strength to my traps without aggravating it? The AC separation made my collarbone move and the end of it sticks out of my shoulder, you can see it through my shirts, so Im trying to add mass to compensate for that.


Did you see a physician regarding it? Was it an AC separation that was a candidate for surgical repair. If you are going the non-surgical route and it isn't severe enough to warrant surgery, you can try taping the AC joint down while lifting to try and limit some of the discomfort. It is going to take some time for the ligament to heal and will probably be bothersome for you for a long time.

There may be some lifts that may always cause discomfort for you due to the injury. The probably with AC joint injuries is that there are no muscles that really attach directly at the AC joint area, so you can't really do much to help stabilize the joint better with exercise. Make sure to have your scapular stabilizers activated properly. Keeping the scapula in the proper position will help keep the AC joint better aligned as well.

I hate to say it, but generally with significant AC joint injuries, no amount of muscle mass will really "cover up" the cosmetic appearance of the AC separation.


Run this by your doc, but shrugs in a standing calf raise machine with pads works. Just lift the pads with your shoulders, and shrug upwards.


My family doctor is the only one I've had a full conversation with about it. During march break I tore my mensicus so I see a physiotherapist and ortopedic surgeon 3 times a week. The physiotherapist told me I should just wait for it to heal on its own and Im kind of having some problems with my knee so my surgeon wants to to focus on that.

Before the accident the end of my clavical always stuck out, its just how my body is. But with the the injury it kind of a sore to look at. It wasn't a candidate for surgery b.c it doesn't cause me discomfort.

Amonero, thats a great idea but I don't think i have one at my gym.. any other ideas?


You can do the same in the smith machine, just take position like you would in a normal squat, maybe lean a bit more forward and shrug away! The one exercise where you can use the pussy pad.

Another one that require a partner is to have him pull your neck down from a standing position or push it down when you're on all fours, and then allowing you to push your head back up.