Shoulder Pain During Dips

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Shoulder Pain During Dips | Week 70 | Movement Fix Monday

This week I want to talk to you about shoulder pain during dips, both on the bar and rings.

The most frequent places people have shoulder pain during dips is 1. in the front of the shoulder and 2. in the back of the shoulder.

One of the most common movement issues I see during the dip is the shoulder blade either not moving or moving in the opposite direction of the pattern of motion desired during a dip.

Now, I know there's a lot of talk about whether or not shoulder blade motion matters, if mechanics matter in terms of pain science, etc. etc. I will be doing a podcast coming up with John Rusin (part 2 w/ him) to discuss these issues as well as some future videos with Chris Johnson, so stay tuned for those to address this pain science stuff more in the future. I digress.

When you descend down into a dip, the motion in the shoulder joint you get is shoulder extension. In combination with that, you want to have some shoulder blade retraction, otherwise you essentially bottom out your shoulder extension and you can have substantial compression of the biceps tendon around the humerus.

To see how that happens, click here.

If the athlete's shoulder blade ends up rounding forward, it can frequently be associated with pinching sensations in the back of the shoulder. Make sure to check out this week's video to see an illustration of how that could be happening.

What I want an athlete to do is retract the shoulder blade a bit during the shoulder extension in a dip.

Interestingly, the dip and a bent dumbbell row are pretty similar movements, except one is a pull and the other is a push. The patterns of movement are sort of mirrors of each other and you can watch how someone performs a dumbbell row to see if they use the shoulder in the same way during the pull as the push.

Teaching the athlete how to do a bent row correctly can allow them to understand how to move their shoulder in a dip. It can be a powerful training tool.

Thanks for reading!

-Ryan

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