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Old 01-03-2013, 01:04 PM   #11
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I like what Soldier said. I got shoulder pain too when doing dips and I'm plenty strong enough to do them with BW. Leaning forward and tucking feet did help, but it still hurt, so like Josh and others I just stopped doing them. There are plenty other ways to do the same exercise.

However, I have come to realize the dip bars I was using were spaced too far apart for me. They where parallel and not angled, so you just had to do them spaced the way they were. I think they were too wide for my build which led to a bad angle on my shoulders and elbows.

Playing around with my sawhorses at home I found I could do them without pain when they were in closer.

Just something else to think about if you're trying to do dips on parallel bars.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:17 PM   #12
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I would say that you are doing it too deeply. I used to have a slight pain as well but once I stopped going down so far, I was not hurting anymore. I suggest you try this and if it does not help then look for a different solution.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:10 PM   #13
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If dips are a new exercise for you, then your shoulder anatomy might not be dip friendly.
In that case, not going as deep is good advice, or try variations like bench dips or Gironda dips, or even Tiger (tricep lever) push ups.

If you've done them before and the problem is new, then you probably have some tension or trigger points to work out and should look into soft tissue work (massage, foam roll, tennis ball, etc.). You could also have some imbalance. DB shrugs and/or some rear delt/upper back work may help.

See how tight you are with some broomstick dislocations and generic shoulder flexibility drills (check online).
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:24 PM   #14
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I do very much worry about the ignore it and do something else type of advice.

If it's an issue that you can't perform, what is a very natural, movement for the human body then that's something you really should try and figure out. If it's tightness, weakness, lack of mobility or whatever else then that WILL come around to bite you in the ass later on if you don't address it.

Like I said in my original post here, figure out the cause and usually the movement which causes pain can also fix it when done using therapeutic doses.

Figure it out, DON'T ignore it. That's cookie cutter advice which is short-sighted and at worst dangerous.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:51 PM   #15
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I agree that in most cases any issues with a movement like the dip should be addressed. A combination of mobility training along with strength training through alternative movements should take care of any pain and make the dip a viable movement for most people. I had huge shoulder issues when I was young, from playing offensive line in high school. My shoulders would dislocate then pop back in very quickly, causing me a lot of pain. I can do dips today like a champ, with no pain at all.

That being said, I also think that dips are one of a group of movements that could be a bad idea for certain people. If you find that a combination of development of muscular strength, mobility training over an extended period of time, and focus on form doesn't help with the pain, stick to alternative movements. It's not that big of a loss.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Soldier View Post
That being said, I also think that dips are one of a group of movements that could be a bad idea for certain people. If you find that a combination of development of muscular strength, mobility training over an extended period of time, and focus on form doesn't help with the pain, stick to alternative movements. It's not that big of a loss.
Obviously you're on a keyboard the other side of the world, I'm on a keyboard over her so it's going to be more difficult to see what we're on about. I guarantee if we were down the pub in person, we'd more than likely agree as we could show each other what we meant. And we'd probably have a good laugh, a game of darts and leer at some women.

So warning rant incoming...

If you're doing Dips like a mong, then yeah of course that IS going to hurt and no amount of stretching and/or mobility will allow you to hit positions which you aren't really supposed to hit.

However a LOT of what people do to get injured or stagnate, especially over the internet is a combination of

1) Lift like a retard, which leads to
2) Be unable to lift in this retarded fashion for any appreciable amount of volume and/or frequency, which leads to
3) Minimal strength or physique progress and/or even worse injury and general embarrassment of their progress and family name.

It's FAR easier to ignore a problem and say "hey I'm not built for it, I'm a hardgainer, I'm not on drugs, i'm not a pro" than to actually put in work to FIX the issues which are causing you to stagnate in the first place. Lazy people will listen to you, because lazy people are LAZY! And that means they can believe their laziness was right in the first place and you can feel comforted that your laziness wasn't actually laziness it was some unfortunate combination of malaise that life struck you down rather than just your own lack of application to the task. Throw in some cookier cutter recommendations from around the internet and BAM you've set yourself up as an internet guru for the down trodden hardgainer, faster than you can say 'genetic ceiling'.

This is especially true over the net, where it takes nothing more than a simple appeal to authority to announce oneself as a hardgainer or "not built for it". Yet, in reality these people shouldn't be listened to any more than that crazy alcoholic uncle who's always at the family gatherings who wants to tell you what's wrong with the world. At EVERY gym in the world you get one guy who laments over his lack of progress yet when you see him lift, he lifts like a complete retard. THAT is what's wrong, not his genetics, bone structure and/or Pluto not being in Jupiter. Yet over the 'net we can't see this.

See? Had we had this conversation over some beers, it'd be far easier!

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Old 01-05-2013, 12:04 AM   #17
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I'm not doing dips because when I do them it hurts my shoulder and prevents me for months at a time from doing other lifts.

While not doing dips I am currently anything but stagnate as a lifter, particularly on the upper body lifts that would be assisted by the dip. I continue to progress on both my bench press and over head press.
However, if I did do dips and jacked up my shoulder, like I did the last 2 times I programmed them, I would not be able to Over head press or bench press. Then I would be stagnate.

I don't feel this is a natural movement. Pushing something up overhead is a natural movement. Picking up something heavy from the ground is a natural movement. Putting my arms to the side and behind me and pressing is not IMO. And I don't feel like I am losing a thing by not doing them.

For the sake of discussion I ask, what if I try to fix them? How would I go about that without putting myself at risk for an unnecessary injury? And most importantly, if I did take that risk, what would I really gain? I would gain another useful assistance exercise, yes, but would my bench press and overhead press show dramatic improvement vs the other assistance exercises I am currently using?

That's my logic about the situation. I just wanted to explain more thoroughly. I am not an author or expert, but this is an attempt from an average joe to explain himself.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:22 AM   #18
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For the sake of discussion I ask, what if I try to fix them? How would I go about that without putting myself at risk for an unnecessary injury?
For the sake of discussion, as I've said in my first two posts you would do the movement with therapeutic loads. I'm assuming you can point your elbows behind you and bend and straighten your arms, yes? If so then it's a natural movement. The only issue we have now is being able to do that with weight on a regular basis, for that we would need to discuss further individually what specific issues you had which causes you to fuck yourself up and work from there.

While that is something I do enjoy doing, it would take more time than I have in this thread and I would need to see videos and we would essentially have a client/trainee commitment.

Quote:
I would gain another useful assistance exercise, yes, but would my bench press and overhead press show dramatic improvement vs the other assistance exercises I am currently using?
Can I really be expected to know whether the inclusion of Dips would show dramatic improvement to your other lifts?

All we are discussing is how to be able to lift without hurting yourself on the basic exercises. What we are discussing here is basic, basic conditioning. Before the foam rolling, before the prehab Just. Being. Able. To. Fucking. Lift. What you do with that, I wouldn't know. There are plenty of people who are physically able to lift and don't do much with it.

So what you would gain is the ability to do Dips. Beyond that, who knows, perhaps you would gain absolutely nothing other than the ability to do Dips and it would have absolutely zero effect on your Bench or other pressing movements.

Best regards,

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Old 01-05-2013, 08:59 AM   #19
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We've got an angry Fazc today, lol! You're right, I agree with your post. I'm bummed that it couldn't be discussed over a beer, face to face. Sounds like a blast!

I generally hate terms like "functional fitness", but damnit, I think it applies in this case. One of the things I found interesting during my Army training was both doing and watching others do obstacle courses. I saw people who just could not handle themselves. There are people out there who are WAY stronger than I am with a bar in their hands, but when you actually have to get out there and move your body around, things change. There are movements that bridge the gap, that make us stronger while also helping us develop the ability to use our bodies in different applications.

I think pullups, dips, lunges, sprints, jumps, and sled pulls can be helpful for almost anyone. The exception would be someone doing highly specialized training who doesn't want to waste energy and recovery on movements that don't give enough bang for your buck, but I'd bet that even most of the people who think they fall into that category actually don't. Personally, I use them all.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:55 AM   #20
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Haha, not angry but perhaps passionate? Although I'm not sure I like the idea of a passionate threeway with Soldier and Bigjosh! People would get the wrong idea.

Anyhooooo!

What people don't normally factor in is bodyweight, that is even more pronounced on an exercise like Dips but it's also true for something like Squats. So if an exercise is causing you bother, then being able to work it lighter for therapeutic loads is going to be harder for the bigger fella is he insists on starting with bodyweight.

That's when you can take the slingshot or something else to go lighter 'till you have built up the necessary abilities to perform the exercise properly and safely with bodyweight.
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