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abett07 12-28-2012 05:17 AM

Dips causing shoulder pain
I have been getting some pain in my shoulders for a while now when ever I perfrom any dips.No other exercise cause any pain in my shoulders at all.Other guys I have spoken to at my gym and online also have this problem .

Is the cause most likely to be bad form or something more serious like a rotator cuff problem ?

Thanks for any response

EliteDreams 12-28-2012 06:26 AM

Maybe your going too far down?

Hazzard 12-28-2012 08:54 AM

Dips can be pretty bad for your shoulders full stop depending on your biomechanics.

Off Road 12-28-2012 10:31 AM

Lots of people have problems with shoulder pain when doing dips. I love dips but if it's hurting you then just do different forms of bench press and overhead press, you won't be missing much. The pain is telling you to stop.

BendtheBar 12-28-2012 10:40 AM

Try not going as deep. The further back your elbows go during a press/dip, the more strain you're putting on your shoulders.

You can also use a Slingshot to help with support if you want to try and do them while recovering from the shoulder issues.

BigJosh 12-28-2012 10:27 PM

For myself, dips are a sure fire way to trigger shoulder issues. In the last few years I programmed them twice and twice I ended up having to (self)rehab my shoulder(s) for the next 4 months.
Maybe it's my form. I could be going to deep or leaning to far forward. Even if this is the case, I am not interested in experimenting with trying to fix it. The risk simply does not out weigh the reward.
IMO, there are other legit exercise options you can do that work the same muscle groups just as effectively, but with more easily mitigated and managed risks.
Just my opinion.

Fazc 12-29-2012 05:51 AM

I find that exercises which cause injury/feel awkward are usually quite therapeutic when done with lower loads.

It's just a matter of being able to do Dips with lighter weight for a while and build up. It's a good solid compound exercise, if you can't do it then it has exposed a problem which could rear it's head further down the line.

So you could fix it or you could ignore it and hope the problem doesn't cause you issues down the line...

MaikW 01-01-2013 11:22 AM

I find that dips aggravate per-existing conditions. ie weak rhomboids and rear delts. make sure to do plenty of pulling, retract the shoulder blades , then pull.

Soldier 01-01-2013 01:47 PM

I absolutely love dips. There are a couple things that could be going on. Dips are hard, and the fact that they are hard can lead to form issues, the same way that trying to squat heavy or pull too much can lead to form issues if you aren't ready yet.

Here's how most people do, or atleast attenpt to do, dips;

Notice that the torso is upright and the shoulders are shrugged up to the neck. It even looks painful and is obviously not an advantagious position from which to produce maximum force.

Here's another example-

Unfortuantely, these examples are from and wikipedia, respectively. This is unfortunate because these are the resources people are using to teach themselves how to do these exercises.

Now lets see a better way-

Notice the differences. Instead of the shoulders shrugging up to the neck, the shoulders are pulled back and the chest is stuck out forward, just like a good bench press. The main difference is that the chest and head are now looking DOWN instead of forwards. In this case this happens because the chains around the neck move the center of gravity towards the head, but chains are not required to get this better form.

Here's another example-

Although this crossfitter is actually performing a muscle up, which is a pullup the goes directly into a dip, you can see that her knees are tucked up underneath her. This also shifts the center of gravity and allows you to face downwards. You can also see in the example just how low you can get with better form, which puts your shoulders in a much more natural position in the stretch portion of the movement.

This change, tucking the knees up towards the chest, also turns the dip into a chest and tricep movement, instead of just a tricep movement.

One interesting thing about bodyweight training to remember is that we can't just lower the weight. Remember when I said that doing dips can be like squats that are too heavy before you're ready? Well, you can lower the weight of the squats and work your way back up with better form, but you can't do that with bodyweight stuff. The trick is to use a good spotter, which in the case of dips or pullups means getting a spotter who does nothing at all. He should stand behind you and hold your feet and nothing more. Then it's up to YOU to determine how much help you give yourself with your legs.

Good god, the Army got something right-

Notice that the spotter isn't doing anything. It's up to the person doing the exercise to determine how much of their legs they want to use to help themself. At first reading it might seem that someone will just use their legs to cheat the whole time, but you'll be very surprised at how well this actually works.

Harley08 01-03-2013 12:13 PM

If you've been doing dips for some time and have recently developed to bodyweight-plus workouts, including too much weight too soon makes you an candidate for shoulder impingement. Dips look simple, and some people usually just jump onto the parallel bars and start without training. If you've had a past shoulder injury, avoid dips completely. Instead, do presses and extensions to work the same muscle that dips would work.

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