T Nation

Training w Shoulder Injury

After finally breaking down and visiting a Sports Medicine MD, I’ve been “officially” diagnosed with most of the fun, non-life-threatening shoulder injuries (impingement, bursitis and tendinitis) in both shoulders. I’ll be starting physical therapy next week to get things back on track, but it will likely be some time before I can return to any sort of heavy training routine for chest or shoulders.

As I watch my hard-earned gains start to disappear (I’ve been off heavy upper body training for a month and have already dropped 8 lbs), was hoping to get some insight from someone who may have been through this as well. Anybody have any tips as I head into “rehabilitation”? In particular, would love to know some good chest routines that can allow me to at least maintain gains without continuing to do damage to my screwed up shoulders. Bench, flyes and those sort of movements appear to be off the table.

Thanks for any thoughts.

I have gone through and still go through the same shoulder problems you are experiencing. First off, find a good chiropracter who is a qualified ART practitioner. PT is great, but you’ll probably get more benefit from some good Active Realease. Use both. As far as training goes, I’ve found that I can still lift heavy, but I cannot go to failure. My shoulders have actually improved from this. I used to only train each bodypart once a week, to total failure, at high intensity, lower volume.I Now use the 5x5 protocol at about 80% of 1rm and never go to total failure. I train each bodypart every 4-5 days now and have gotten great size and strength gains. I beleive it’s actually more beneficial to the injured shoulders to train them more frequently. If I take a week off or reduce the frequency between training sessions, the pain and problems get worse. I think the key is not going to failure though. I also have to avoid certain excercises and modify others. Incline presses, dips, fly movements and behind neck presses are out. Flat bench with a narrower grip, db flat bench,some hammer strength chest machines, shoulder press and lighter db side raises and any rear delt work is fine for me. I’m no expert, but this is what has worked for me and my shoulders are seriously fucked up. Both have severe tendonitis, and one has some pretty good rotator cuff damage.

I hope you have ART available. shoulders are a dicy area to hurt. I don’t have faith in traditional pt without ART assistance. Been down that road. You abosolutely can’t work through it and ignore the medical advice.
Get the art to wbreak up the muscular adhesions along with the pt.

Thanks for the responses. Did not know anything about ART but will study up and find someone locally to supplement the PT.