Pressing around a bum shoulder

Pressing around a bum shoulder

by Evigan Xiao 1 week ago

No one likes having to deal with an injury, much less the type that gets in the way of you trying to get things done. Shoulder injuries are particularly insidious, in that they can interfere in one’s day to day activities. For the active individual, an injured shoulder does present a challenge when it comes to training in the gym.

 

The shoulder complex is of a particularly delicate design, very much resembling a golf ball resting on a tee. As such, injuries are fairly common amongst athletic individuals who engage in a fair amount of upper body work. For those experiencing pain in the shoulder, staple strength exercises like the barbell bench press and overhead press are often ruled out due to level of demand it places on the shoulder. However, engaging in variations of such movements will allow you to continue training without causing aggravation.

 

1.Barbell floor press

Location and equipment courtesy of TripleFit

 

Before the bench press became a gym staple, the floor press was used the strongmen of old to build pressing strength. Interestingly enough, this exercise was used as an accessory movement to the overhead press, as it allowed the lifter to overload the movement and press from the more stable, lying position. With the floor acting as a natural constraint, the shoulder capsule experiences less stress due to the upper arm being in line with the body at the bottom of the exercise

 

2. Trap bar floor press

Location and equipment courtesy of TripleFit

 

Swapping the barbell for a trap bar makes the floor press an even more shoulder-friendly movement. The neutral grip used on the trap bar’s handles places the shoulder in a much more stable position for pressing, while the unconventional design of the trap bar forces the body to work harder to stabilise the load. If your gym’s trap bar isn’t rack-friendly, you can always stack plates to give your arms enough room to lift the bar off.

 

3. Close-grip bench press

Location and equipment courtesy of TripleFit

 

If you wish to train your press in manner that’s a little more specific to the barbell bench press, the close-grip bench press can be included for consideration. The grip width associated with this movement is one that sees your forearms being completely vertical when gripping the bar (or akin to shoulder-width). This places more tension on the triceps, although the pectorals still get stimulated to a certain degree. To avoid triggering any shoulder pain, lower the bar till it’s about a fist’s length away from your chest before pressing it back up.

 

4. Landmine press

Location and equipment courtesy of TripleFit

 

Aside from being used to teach proper overhead pressing mechanics, the landmine press can also be used as a rehab tool or even a legitimate strength exercise for those with shoulder injuries. The angle of the pressing motion results in significantly less irritation of the acromion process of the shoulder – a common issue for those with shoulder impingement syndrome. The landmine press can be performed in either a standing, tall kneeling or half-kneeling position.

 

5. Dumbbell neutral press

Location and equipment courtesy of TripleFit

 

Dumbbells are superior to barbells in the sense that they allow certain joints to be positioned in a certain fashion for greater comfort during exercises. Using dumbbells for shoulder presses is one of the best ways to illustrate this. By having your palms face each other throughout the movement, you’re able to go through a full range of movement without placing excessive stress on the shoulder joint. Presses can be performed standing up for a full-body effect or seated if the desire is to focus more on the shoulders.

 

The importance of training through minor injuries is more than just about retaining one’s “gains”; the increased blood flow can expedite recovery while promoting joint mobility. While some minor discomfort is to be expected, it is important to be able to distinguish between that and pain. If training results in pain, stop and reassess instead of muscling through it.