T Nation

Troubleshooting Cause of Injury

I just recently tore my left supraspinatus benching. Might need surgery (go to the doc next week) but I have been reading posts and articles trying to figure out what might have caused the injury and have come up empty. What I HAVE found is that possible reasons are: Weak serratus anterior,weak trapezius, weak rhomboids. However I have ruled out those reasons because:

  1. I have been training my overhead very heavy (for me 185x3x2 strict. Last workout before my injury, possibly the reason for it).Shouldnt that use alot of serratus anterior for support/stablization which would equal not a weakness? I posted the numbers because I believe I have an unusual overhead to bench ratio.

I have been working out with 245-265 range(I’m really a deadlifter with a weak bench) benching while also pressing heavy every week in this training cycle. The injury happened with lighter weight (225 on my way up).

2&3) I have been training my dead heavy for a while and have been doing a lot of back/trap work. Back work is strict chins and pulldowns twice a week, facepulls among other things.Wouldnt that cover mid traps and rhomboids?

I dont see how there is such an imbalance to cause injury. Is there something that I am missing that could cause it? Thanks go to anyone who has read this far into the post and has any insight.

Has anyone had surgery to repair their suprspinatus?

bump

[quote]Bigpull wrote:
I just recently tore my left supraspinatus benching. Might need surgery (go to the doc next week) but I have been reading posts and articles trying to figure out what might have caused the injury and have come up empty. What I HAVE found is that possible reasons are: Weak serratus anterior,weak trapezius, weak rhomboids. However I have ruled out those reasons because:

  1. I have been training my overhead very heavy (for me 185x3x2 strict. Last workout before my injury, possibly the reason for it).Shouldnt that use alot of serratus anterior for support/stablization which would equal not a weakness? I posted the numbers because I believe I have an unusual overhead to bench ratio.

I have been working out with 245-265 range(I’m really a deadlifter with a weak bench) benching while also pressing heavy every week in this training cycle. The injury happened with lighter weight (225 on my way up).

2&3) I have been training my dead heavy for a while and have been doing a lot of back/trap work. Back work is strict chins and pulldowns twice a week, facepulls among other things.Wouldnt that cover mid traps and rhomboids?

I dont see how there is such an imbalance to cause injury. Is there something that I am missing that could cause it? Thanks go to anyone who has read this far into the post and has any insight.[/quote]

Although it’s difficult to diagnose over the internet I suspect that you have weak lower traps, rhomboids, and serratus. The deadlift and facepulls can train those muscles but you have to focus on keeping your chest up, shoulderblades back and down. Coincidentally, I’m pretty sure that your upper traps are too active. If you do or don’t have the surgery I suggest you really work on getting your movement patterns down and scapula positions corrected–you can check out Eric Cressey and Mike Robenson’s article series Neanderthal no more.

How much direct rotator cuff training have you been doing? I’ve known a couple of people who suffered tears of the supraspinatus and the cause was impingement syndrome.

[quote]timmwwaa wrote:

Although it’s difficult to diagnose over the internet I suspect that you have weak lower traps, rhomboids, and serratus. The deadlift and facepulls can train those muscles but you have to focus on keeping your chest up, shoulderblades back and down. Coincidentally, I’m pretty sure that your upper traps are too active. If you do or don’t have the surgery I suggest you really work on getting your movement patterns down and scapula positions corrected–you can check out Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson’s article series Neanderthal no more. [/quote]

I’m not really one to skimp on form and I think I have a pretty good idea on how to train those exercises with proper form. Strenthwise, my back is proportioally stronger than my front.I pulled 601 last spring and while I was training for that I maxed at 315 on the bench raw.Right now I am working with 475 on the DL and 250 on the bench.

The numbers are to show that those weights are stong enough to support(DL), they(my smaller back muscles) should be okay to support my rotator cuff muscles while doing 225 on the bench. Even though I was getting ready to start my training cylce again and the weights are lower, I think strengthwise the ratio is about the same.

I realize lower body comes into play for the deadlift and I could still have an imbalance somehow. The surgeon ruled out weak romboids today when he had me do some range of motion stuff.He also said that a full thickness tear is a little uncommon to have at 29. Could you elaborate on “too active” traps?

Typically my rotator cuff work is internal and external rotation with like 5 to 10 lb dumbells to warm up on bench and overhead days. Not much at all is done after my workouts.