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  1. #1
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    Call me thick if you like

    I don't have a training buddy who likes his weights so I don't have a spot. So I can only use dumbells for chest, but I think lifting heavy dumbells on the flat is why I get shoulder pain so much. I read that the smith machine is too strict with its action to be used on the flat. Call me thick if you like but I have to ask some basic questions:
    a) do you think dumbells are the cause of my shoulder problems?
    b) are they as effective on hitting the pecs?
    c) is the smith machine bad for the rotator cuff?
    and d) I really want to blast my pecs and my usual pec day is:
    flat dumbell presses 10-8-6-failure
    cable flyes 10-8-6-failure
    incline smith machine presses 10-8-8-failure
    decline dumbell flyes 8-failure-failure-failure
    machine chest presses as many as I can be bothered to do taking each set to failure.
    Does this look like a good routine to you?
    Thanks for any replies

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    1. I dont think DB's will cause the shoulder pain, but rather poor form. DB's are easier on your shoulders than BB's.

    2. Yes they are as effective, if not more. Besdies if you choose you can go deeper with DB's.

    3. The only good thing a smith machine is good for is hanging your coat and that will be the most common answer about that here.

    4. This is a bad routine, reason being way to many isolation exercises and you are going to failure much to often. I would go for 10 reps with a 12rm. Meaning do 10 reps with the weight that you would if you were shooting for a max of 12 reps. Something much simplier would work much better like:

    DB Bench-3-4 sets
    Incline Press or decline press-3 sets
    Butterflies-3 sets

    Simple little routine. You are doing far to many sets looks like 16 sets for chest, imo I wouldnt go no more than 12 for chest and maybe fewer, especially if you are lookin at very many sets to failure.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double D View Post
    1. I dont think DB's will cause the shoulder pain, but rather poor form. DB's are easier on your shoulders than BB's.

    2. Yes they are as effective, if not more. Besdies if you choose you can go deeper with DB's.

    3. The only good thing a smith machine is good for is hanging your coat and that will be the most common answer about that here.

    4. This is a bad routine, reason being way to many isolation exercises and you are going to failure much to often. I would go for 10 reps with a 12rm. Meaning do 10 reps with the weight that you would if you were shooting for a max of 12 reps. Something much simplier would work much better like:

    DB Bench-3-4 sets
    Incline Press or decline press-3 sets
    Butterflies-3 sets

    Simple little routine. You are doing far to many sets looks like 16 sets for chest, imo I wouldnt go no more than 12 for chest and maybe fewer, especially if you are lookin at very many sets to failure.
    +1

    Way too much chest work.
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  4. #4
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    I agree with DoubleD, the source of your pain is probably poor form. I suggest you work with lighter weights to find the correct form, not only one that is entirely proper but a plane of movement that doesn't induce pain.

    The Smith machine has its uses, but they are few and far between. Not even worth discussing.

    And if youre having shoulder problems, I suggest you stay away from declines. I honestly dont know if its a widespread issue, but I have cuff issues & declines only exacerbate them. When I am brazen enough to do them, I typically have to take 2-3 weeks off to recover.

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    See I have always heard declines are easier on the shoulders compared to say inclines or oh presses. But I guess to each is own.

  6. #6
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    Does overhead pressing bother your shoulder too?

    How about during normal daily activities, do you get pain/discomfort?

    Also, I would stop anything that hurts you. If DB pressing bugs your shoulder, then don't do it!

    I would seriously consider looking into balancing out your physique more too. I have a feeling I know basically what your shoulder workout looks like, and you're doing too much pressing and internal rotation of your shoulders with far less work for those muscles that help stabilize your humerus and scapula during movement.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CowPimp View Post
    I have a feeling I know basically what your shoulder workout looks like, and you're doing too much pressing and internal rotation of your shoulders with far less work for those muscles that help stabilize your humerus and scapula during movement.
    Yep you guessed it, lots of presses, so do you think I should use more lateral raises and L-flyes on shoulder days?

  8. #8
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    he means you need to include more rows with scapular retraction (pinching your shoulder blades together). too much pressing and not enough pulling will create an imbalance called upper cross syndrome and will wreak havoc on your shoulders.

    how do you bench? where are your elbows in the down position? is your back completely flat against the bench?
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  9. #9
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    Try getting off the bench and use the Stability Ball. It will not impede your scapula.

    When training always remember: Less Is More!
    The key to any routine lies in your ability to abandon it for another.

    -Always Believe In One Forum-

  10. #10
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    I've actually noticed more growth and less shoulder pain since using dumbbells. I love them and use them as much as possible although I do throw in the occasional Barbell Press.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yanick View Post
    he means you need to include more rows with scapular retraction (pinching your shoulder blades together). too much pressing and not enough pulling will create an imbalance called upper cross syndrome and will wreak havoc on your shoulders.

    how do you bench? where are your elbows in the down position? is your back completely flat against the bench?
    Indeed. Not to mention there may just be an excessive amount of volume being thrown at the shoulder joint, which is not the most friendly joint to such loads.
    The only time it's bad to feel the burn is when you're peeing...

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  12. #12
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    I do not like flat dumbell benching with the elbows flared out, I have to keep the elbows in or my left shoulder will pop out of its socket a bit and sometimes even my right. In part this is structure and in part its a rotator issue.

    You can either finish with flats, or try to bring the elbows in and rotate your hands inwards a bit as well.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudge View Post
    You can either finish with flats, or try to bring the elbows in and rotate your hands inwards a bit as well.
    That's how I bench with dumbbells, my arms are tucked such that the dumbbells are not oriented perpendicular to my body. It feels more comfortable that way; that's how they go naturally if I keep my scapula locked into position.

    Also, neutral grip benching might be good for you, though you won't be able to use quite as much weight.
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  14. #14
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    for some reason, my left shoulder really doesn't like dumbbell bench presses. it might be the way i hold it, but my left arm usually gets up being externally rotated, causing irritation in my rotators.

  15. #15
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    So I should use lighter weight until I get my form sorted out, try holding the db's with my palms inward and different elbow posistions, get more of an all over muscle balance, and do less excersises per workout. Trouble is- I love my pec days and always want to do more! But I guess quality is more important than quantity.
    Thanks everybody, I've been woking out like that for awhile and just putting up with the pain which is NOT a good thing to do

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Du View Post
    I agree with DoubleD, the source of your pain is probably poor form. I suggest you work with lighter weights to find the correct form, not only one that is entirely proper but a plane of movement that doesn't induce pain.

    The Smith machine has its uses, but they are few and far between. Not even worth discussing.

    And if youre having shoulder problems, I suggest you stay away from declines. I honestly dont know if its a widespread issue, but I have cuff issues & declines only exacerbate them. When I am brazen enough to do them, I typically have to take 2-3 weeks off to recover.
    The trick with declines I find is keeping the DB's in a vertical plane in line with your belly button, or thereabouts. The tendancy with some people I think, is to bring the DB's down almost in line with the shoulders. With declines, what your'e effectively doing is rotating the shoulders. Think about standing upright with your arms locked out level, in a bench press position, now lift your arms by rotating your shoulders up. As you raise your arms higher and higher, you can naturally bring an imaginary bar down through a plane that is higher and higher up your torso, culminating in a shoulder press, as your arms are straight overhead. Now lower your arms by rotating your shoulders down below pependicular so your arms are angled down, thus mimicking a decline bench position. As you lower your arms more and more you must lower (or raise as it would seem) an imaginary bar through a plane that is lower and lower down your torso in order to avoid injury to your rotator cuff muscles.
    What this means is that when we drop a ball and it falls to the ground, it wasn't the ball that moved (down to the ground), but the ground that moved (up to the ball)

  17. #17
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    Cool thanks people.
    While we're on the subject of my poor form, while doing standing barbell curls I get really bad lower back pain, I switched to cable curls which seemed to help, but I've just got back from my back and bi day and the pain has started happening on the cable curls now. It must be my form, I try to keep my knees bent and stay loose but still it happens. Any ideas anybody? any help would be gratfully recived.Thanks all!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverback View Post
    Cool thanks people.
    While we're on the subject of my poor form, while doing standing barbell curls I get really bad lower back pain, I switched to cable curls which seemed to help, but I've just got back from my back and bi day and the pain has started happening on the cable curls now. It must be my form, I try to keep my knees bent and stay loose but still it happens. Any ideas anybody? any help would be gratfully recived.Thanks all!
    Are you swinging your back into it or leaning back excessively to get the weight up?
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  19. #19
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    OK, you are thick

  20. #20
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    Ah is sorted now just had a great workout! thanks for the help people.but I'm still not going to call you sexy even if you call me thick tho mate!

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