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Old 09-11-2009, 03:46 AM   #1
Tom Vale
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 16
Default Sore shoulder when doing Dips?

G'day Guys and Gals,

I find that when I'm doing Dips (ring dips if it makes a difference) that I get a dull ache both in the front of my left shoulder near say the head of the humerus and also in the rear slightly above and to the right of the top of my armpit (pardon the poor explanations). I've had a few people watch my form and none have detected any real imbalances in the movement pattern/biomechanics. The ache also goes away within say 10-20 minutes of finishing the dips.

As for shoulder flexibility, I think my case is a bit odd. I can overhead squat 60kg fairly well (say 3-5 reps) as well as being able to snatch. That being said, when I squat I cannot get my hands very close to my shoulders at all and that I get a dull ache in my RIGHT shoulder if I try bring them in too close.

Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:23 AM   #2
Steven Low
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,045

1. Google a pic and mark where it hurts.

2. What shoulder articulations hurt?

Umm, from what it sounds like it MAY be long head of the biceps tendonitis.

And yeah, this is the Internet so read the sig. If you're concerned after a week or so of rest/ice/massage/etc. then you should probably see a professional.
Posts NOT intended as professional medical, training or nutrition advice.
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Old 09-12-2009, 04:39 AM   #3
Dave Lemanczyk
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Islip, NY
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After carefully reading what you wrote down, I am thinking the following things. First, the fact that you feel some discomfort in a specific spot means there is a weakness. That much I'm sure everyone can agree on. The key is to find which (if any) specific points of the dip itself that aggravate that specific part of the shoulder joint. It is possible that a portion of the range of motion might be too much, have aggravated a previous injury, or something beyond my knowledge (very possible). There are little injuries that come, go, come back, dissapear, and it makes the human body a mystery sometimes. Thecleanest advice I can give you is to stay away from anything that causes you that "extra level of pain", or that"something extra dull ache".

Even though you have proficiency with the snatch in terms of shoulder girdle staiblity, it still is a very different movement than the dip. Personally, I would not compare the two since they are so different. I do however understand your point of relevance since both movements require a large degree of shoulder flexibility to ensure adequate form execution. Hopefully this helps you.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:47 AM   #4
Troy Kerr
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 248


I have been working exclusively on my gymnastic skills ( back lever, handstand PU, pistol, and planche). My workouts include alot of dips, and pull-ups.
After reading the performance menu article on integrating gymnastic and weightlifting movements, I began integrating overhead presses and other weightlifting movements into my routine. I also read in Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength that performing the bench press too much without enough overhead work to counter it leads to muscle imbalances, which can lead to soreness in the shoulders.
My point is that the bench press trains the anterior portion of the shoulders, much like the dips.
I train Mon,tues, thurs, and friday. Monday and thursday is when the planche, dips, or any anterior training of the shoulders take place. Tues and friday I include overhead work, such as a strict press or push-press. I have been following this training routine for 5 weeks now and have had little to no shoulder pain. I also do a lot of dislocates with pvc pipe both pre and post workout.
My suggestion would be to start including overhead work into your routine, maybe lay off of the dips for a week or so, and see if the pain goes away. Also if your not, work your shoulders through pvc dislocates. I do not know what your training style is or what goal you are working towards, but I hope this helps. As I know it works for myself.
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