The internet is a dark and dangerous place.
Since it became a thing, something we can access as easily and conveniently as drawing breath, the amount of information available to us has become astronomical.
This is cool as it means we can find answers to our questions more easily than ever before. We can take a class somewhere and then continue our studies via the internet. Often times we don’t even have to go somewhere, we can simply learn over the web!
On the flip side though, we’ve a shit load of information on the internet that’s not worth the paper it’s written on!
And one such article was posted recently.
It was T-Nation post talking about exercises that will trash your shoulder joint.
T-Nation is an awesome site, if you’ve never visited it, you certainly should.
But pick your authors, some are better than others.
But when one post is titled “3 Shoulder Killers to Avoid” and two of them are staples of the training I provide here, you have to look pretty closely at what is written and figure out what is really going on.
The three drills in question are:
The Kipping Pull Up
Dips on Rings
With the Kipping Pull Up, I’m with the author, I’m absolutely not a fan of these and don’t see much point in doing them.
The argument for them (outside of CF competition) is work capacity. Fair enough, but for work capacity, why not use a less risky exercise?
Now the questionable parts:
Dips on Rings.
“Moreover, shoulder joints can easily be impinged during the performance of ring dips because the load is driving the humerus and AC joint together. Add to this an even slight lateral movement force and many serious injuries occur, often in the form of torn or damaged rotator cuffs.
As Rippetoe advises, “Do your shoulders a favor and do your dips on dip bars!”
This is ridiculous.
Any form of Dip can and if allowed, WILL close up the shoulder joint and place a great deal of stress on the anterior shoulder structures.
But only if performed poorly.
Doing dips on bars isn’t any safer than doing them on rings. In fact if properly coached as in the manner laid out in the video below, many find the rings more comfortable than the bars.
After all, the rings can move to better accommodate your body. My shoulders are asymmetric, many of my clients have shoulders that work better one side than the other, the rings accommodate this by allowing them to rotate into a better position.
As the body lowers and raises through the full range of motion, the hands should rotate creating a spiralling force as you lower and lift.
This is impossible on the bars, plus the bar width may simply not suit your shoulder structure at all!
Have a look at the video:
Trained in this manner and never allowing the anterior glide of the humerous, the dip on the rings will bulletproof you massively.
I have trained several lads to the point where they can load up with approx half their bodyweight for 2-3 reps.
Some of them had never done a pain free dip prior to training with me. Ever.
“Many lifters and athletes come to me now with various shoulder issues, and almost always they’ve been utilizing battling ropes or the other two ridiculous exercises mentioned above. My task is to rehab them.”
Here’s a statistic one should take into consideration after reading the above paragraph:
100% of people who drink water die.
That statistic is perfectly accurate, but about as useful as the article.
Again, the only way in which the battling rope will fuck up you shoulder is if you’re only using your shoulder to create the power.
And if you’ve ever used a rope, you know that you’re arms burn out real fast unless you learn to generate the power from the ground up.
I use the ropes a lot with my guys. The BJJ and Muay Thai guys especially like (or hate……it’s kinda subjective!) training with the ropes, and both sports are notorious for shoulder injury.
Yet the guys that train with me suffer fewer shoulder problems than the guys that don’t.
The point I’m getting to here is two fold.
1: Don’t believe half of what you read on the internet. There are a handful of authors that are top drawer, but they are gold in the coal seam of shit writers looking for click throughs and traffic.
2: Technique, technique, technique!
I’m a stickler for good form. No one in my gym is allowed progress if they are doing so at the cost of good form.
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