Free Weight Shoulder Press: Range of Motion???
Ok guys. I need to know how many of you guys, when doing free weight barbell SHOULDER press, lower the bar almost to your chest right under your chin??? How many of you guys stop when your elbows are even with your shoulders or your upper arms are parallel to the floor? I see it done so many ways. I have been going all the way down and now I think that is why I have had shoulder pain lately. A very respected vet told me that upper arms parallel to the floor is all the farther you need. I have always been a full range of motion freak. I WANT AS MANY RESPONSES FROM ALL OF YOU GUYS. IF YOU SHOULDER PRESS AND YOU ARE A BIG SON OF A BITCH, ANSWER THIS POST. ADRENALINE, VEIN, BIG JIM AND TITANIUM. THANKS
im just a "noob" and my thoughts are just my opinion, but i would THINK that just going down until your (upper) arms are parallel to the floor would be the most beneficial as it doesn't allow you to "rest" the weight on your chest. i would think that this would put more stress on your shoulder muscles forceing them to grow.
I'm definitely not the authority on these. Personally, I would go to parrallel. I have a shoulder problem and have to avoid Militaries, like the plaugue. I do throw them in for 2 workouts or so every 4 to 6 months... Other than that, no dice....
Warm up you rotator cuffs good prior to hitting the militaries. Also, try going to parallel. You don't want to go past parallel if it hurts you. That is a signal that your shoulder's aren't designed to do that... genetics..... If that helps, then you know your answer...
I am definitely a proponent of full range of motion. Unfortunately, sometimes your body is not. Pic and choose your excercises to suit your physique and your needs.
If i am doing military press i lower it till my upper arms are just below parralel, but if i am doing push press i lower it into a front squat postion.
you may have an injured infraspenateous and a teres minor, if there are trainers in the gyme ask them to do a shoulder evaluation and they could tell you more, most injuries in the rotator cuff accure at bench press cuz every one wants to exceed the range of motion wich is even with the shoulder not bouncing the bar of your chest, becuase when you exceed that motion you are stretching the rotater cuf with weight(who does stretches with weights) not a good idea,you need to work on that bro and above all no over head press till your prob is desolved!
im no authoity on this but i go down all the way and just touch chest-not enough to rest the weight just enough so i know its all the way down-ive never had any problems with this and my shoulders have grown vary nicely,every one else down our gym uses smith machine fore some reason-personally i hate them
Some interesting reading for those of us with bum shoulders....
SHOULDER INJURIES in Bodybuilders
As a trade-off for mobility, the shoulder lacks some of the stability found in other joints.(53) The shoulder is under considerable stress during many commonly performed weight training exercises and, as a result, is frequently injured.(3,31,54,55) Shoulder pain is often taken for granted or ignored by many bodybuilders. For example, anterior shoulder pain felt secondary to performing bench presses (ie, achieving a "burn") is frequently assumed to be a sore anterior deltoid muscle from a hard workout. It may, in fact, represent a sign of rotator cuff strain or impingement.
Impingement syndrome and anterior instability are the most common types of shoulder conditions associated with weight training. It is important to recognize that these conditions often coexist.(54) Rotator cuff strain/tendinitis/tear, proximal biceps tendinitis, and subacromial bursitis frequently result from subacromial impingement. However, primary tendinitis resulting from overload may also occur. Less common types of shoulder injuries include brachial plexus neuropathy, suprascapular nerve impingement, posterior glenohumeral instability (due to heavy bench presses), acromio-clavicular joint sprains (AC), proximal biceps tendon tears, pectoralis major strains or tears, and osteolysis of the distal clavicle.
Impingement syndrome refers to impingement of the rotator cuff tendons, especially the supraspinatus tendon, under the subacromial arch. The biceps tendon or the subacromial bursa may also be impinged under the subacromial arch. The position that appears to be most damaging is abduction with internal rotation. It is not clear whether rotator cuff muscle/ tendon overload precedes impingement or is caused by it.(53,56)
A major factor in shoulder impingement injuries in weight lifters is the muscle imbalance syndrome mentioned earlier, highlighted by overly tight shoulder internal rotators and weak shoulder external rotators.(53,57) A substantial portion of the typical training program is dedicated to training the pectorals and the lats. Both tend to produce internal rotation of the shoulders. The external shoulder rotators (the infraspinatus and the teres minor) are often neglected.
There is considerable stress imposed on the rotator cuff muscles during the performance of many exercises, such as the bench press. Too many sets of exercises for the same body part with excessive weight can result in fatigue and overload injury to the rotator cuff. Therefore, weight lifters should be encouraged to perform fewer sets and no more than 12 sets per body part, including warm-ups.
A common exercise is the lateral raise with the shoulder in internal rotation (Fig 6). The lifter is often instructed to point the thumb down as though pouring water from a pitcher in an effort to better isolate the side deltoid. It may be true, but there is a risk of accelerating or aggravating an impingement syndrome. The clinician should suggest that lateral raises be performed face down on an incline bench positioned at about 75 degrees up from the ground. This position will isolate the side delts without creating impingement (Fig 7).
Another common mistake is raising the arms above 90 degrees while performing side raises. Unless the thumb is pointing up, this position may increase the risk of impinging the rotator cuff tendons under the subacromial arch. Shoulder protraction is associated with narrowing of the subacromial space.(58) Allowing the shoulders to become protracted forward beyond the neutral position during the performance of exercises such as bench presses may increase the strain to this area.
Anterior instability of the glenohumeral joint
Instability may be due to a single-event trauma where the capsule and glenoid labrum are torn or may be atraumatic representing a tendency toward a loose joint capsule. When either inherently loose or torn loose, the capsule may be unable to support the shoulder in the extremes of abduction and external rotation.
Therefore, exercises that place the shoulder in this position should be modified or avoided such as the behind-the-neck press, the behind-the-neck pulldown, and the pec deck(59) (Figs 5, 9, and 10). It may also occur from repeatedly hyperextending the shoulder during the performance of bench presses, flyes, and the pec deck by lowering the bar or dumbbells to the point where the elbows are behind the back. Weight lifters not only place their shoulders in an abducted/externally rotated or hyperextended position, but also do it with considerable weight held in their hands. The general principle to use in advising patients is to avoid positions in which the elbows extend behind the coronal plane of the body. It is important to remind the patient that overhead positions are less stable and therefore more risky. While instability is often caused by gradual repetitive capsular stretching injury, Olympic lifters tend to suffer instability resulting from a single-event traumatic injury. They often lose control of a weight while holding the weight in an overhead position.(54)
[Fig 7. A safer technique for performing the lateral raise while still isolating the side deltoid.]
[Fig 8. The upright row involves abducting the shoulder with internal rotation-potential impingement.]
It should be noted that the diagnosis of anterior instability may be overlooked due to a misleading response to testing. Patients often experience pain in the posterior shoulder when the arm is placed in an abducted/externally rotated position. It is thought that this posterior pain arises from traction or compression of the posterior structures as the shoulder subluxates forward. Also, anterior instability may be misdiagnosed as a rotator cuff strain.
The load and shift test is a form of instability testing that involves passively translating the humeral head while stabilizing the glenoid. This test may be performed with the patient in various positions, including seated with arm by the side, seated with the arm in the abducted and externally rotated position, and supine with the arm abducted and externally rotated. Excessive forward excursion of the humerus associated with either pain, apprehension, or clicking may all be considered positive signs. The relocation test should reduce the positive findings. This test involves restabilizing the humerus by pushing the head of the humerus from anterior to posterior while placing the arm in the "apprehension" position of abduction/external rotation. The relocation test is performed with the patient supine. Care should be taken to support the arm to avoid protective muscle spasm.(53)
Impingement may occur secondary to shoulder instability.(60) The response to testing includes pain felt with the apprehension test that is relieved by the relocation test. Apprehension is usually not the primary response to testing. In such cases, the underlying instability and the subsequent impingement should both be addressed.
[Fig 9. This technique in the pec deck exercise may result in overworking the anterior capsule of the shoulder.]
[Fig 10. This modified technique on the pec deck exercise is safer because it eliminates the externally rotated and extended position.]
Less common shoulder injuries related to weight training
There have been a number of reports in the literature of suprascapular nerve injury either via stretch or compression. Abduction of the arm against resistance has been implicated as the mechanism of injury.(61) The lateral raise and the shoulder press are two exercises that involve abduction against resistance.
A number of reports(5,20,62) document the occurrence of tears of the pectoralis major muscle or tendon, usually from bench pressing. The tendon may either avulse from the bone, tear at the musculotendinous junction, or tear in the muscle itself, usually near the musculotendinous junction. Most of these injuries occur while the arms are extended behind the chest.(20) To prevent such injuries the lifter should avoid lowering the bar to the point at which the shoulder is hyperextended.(5,20,62) Regular stretching may be helpful.
An entity known as atraumatic osteolysis of the distal clavicle has been reported in a number of studies as being related to weight training. This condition, referred to as weight lifter's shoulder, is marked by pain at the acromioclavicular joint while performing the dip, bench press, clean-and-jerk, and overhead presses. Radiographs show osteoporosis and loss of subchondral bony detail at the distal clavicle. In addition, cystic changes may also be present.(63,64) Atraumatic osteolysis is believed to result from repetitive loading of the acromioclavicular joint resulting in neurovascular compromise to the distal clavicle. Management is difficult given that most patients are serious lifters. Either a dramatic reduction in weight, elimination of the offending maneuver, or substitution of exercises may be suggested.
Alternatives to the bench press include a narrow grip bench, cable crossovers, and the incline or decline press. If unsuccessful, elimination of heavy lifting for 6 months is recommended. There is some evidence that those treated surgically with amputation of the distal I to 2 cm of the clavicle are able to return to some lifting. However, many athletes are not able to return to a pre-injury level of lifting.(63)
I agree with foz, don't lower it till you're able to rest the weight but have it right above there, and do it slow. i find this the best way.
Hope it helps
Yo might want to try some rotator cuff exercises. I am a student athletic trainer and it sounds like yoru pain is from lack of synergist muscles. By performing some simple rotator cuff exercsies you can get rid of the pain. Try to find someone who knows some of these exercsies. Do them at least once every workout and you'll notice the pain slowly gets less dramatic. I fyou can't find anyone who knows them I can explaina few to you.
In performing the seated DB presses you should only bring the DB's down until the plates actually touch your shoulder. This usually means that your upper arm or triceps would be at a 45 degree angle to your rib-cage. From that point, you would raise them until you arms are at almost a lock-out position, you do not lock them out, you maintain a slight bend, thus it causes the strain to remain on the muscles involved.
Now, onto the Rotator cuff exercise. You begin with a very light DB...say, 2 lb. You would take you arm and hold it in a 90 degree position out to you side. This would have your hand pretty much level with the top of your head. Now, to work the Rotator cuff you would simply, while holding the DB, lower it until your lower arm is parallel to the floor. This equates to approximately a 45 degree range of motion. More than that and you will hurt your Rotator cuff and a few other vital support muscles. You can and should increase the weight that you use in this exercise; however, not too drasitically because of the possibility of injury.
If at any time you feel pain, immediately stop and consult with a doctor.
One: Grab aboiut a 30-40 ppound dumbbell and lean over a bench like you are going to do one armed bent over rows. Then instead of pulling up on the weight merely twist the weight back and forth allowing your body to stay stationary but your arm to rotate clock wise and counterclockwise.
Two: Grab a really light weight and lie face down on a high bench. allow your arms to dangle down with the dumbbells in your hands then pull up as far as you can as if isolating your rear delts then twist your arm at the top as far as comfortably possible so that your arm is bent at a 90 degree angle and your forearms are parallel to the floor.
yyzgeddylee, good post, btu I have a question.
How can I see the figures. I can't see it on the website you posted. All it said was (Fig 6) , but no picture.
For example, anterior shoulder pain felt secondary to performing bench presses (ie, achieving a "burn") is frequently assumed to be a sore anterior deltoid muscle from a hard workout. It may, in fact, represent a sign of rotator cuff strain or impingement.
WOW....i have had this happen the last two weeks or so and i thought my shoulder was just so pumped, thats why it was hurting...hmm.
To answer the original question...go all the way down and touch and go just like on a bench press...control the weight.
I am not a big fan of the Behind the Beck press as it puts mucho stress on your cuffs...stay away from that. IF you do it anyway...then make sure you dont go below your ears
Another good exercise many people over look is the push press...this can really beef up your shoulders. You can use more weight and I can't remember who said (think it was Dr. Squat actually) but he said in that exercise your body "is the bench." So you work a bunch of stabalizer muscles.
Sorry to put a damper on this one but pressing beggining with the upper arms parrallel to the ground more or less takes the stress of the delts and involves primarily the triceps. If you want to maximise your delt involvement in Military presses you will have to start with the bar touching the sternum and the upper arms pointing vertical, elbows tucked in by your sides. If you dont have the cuff flexibility to use this ROM than work on your cuffs, dont just skimp out of pressing properly.