Posted On:4/25/2011 3:11am
Style: tai chi, silat
I was retired but am now starting job which will require that I build myself up. So I have started lifting weights again for about 3 months now and though since I have farm I keep in shape, I have torn rotator in shoulder so I do not do chest exercises like bench presses. I often have to lift stuff overhead so I have done shoulder exercise but this is also painful. Pulling exercises like rows and pullups are no problem, but is there some way to build up chest without bench presses. I am able to do many pushups without much pain, but they do not seem to build up chest muscle too much. I cannot afford surgery also, and I should also add I am 57 years old so bones do not heal so quickly either. Thank you.
Posted On:4/25/2011 11:11am
Style: Bits and pieces
Flat dumbell presses dont put as much strain on the front of your shoulder, but you'd be better off getting a physio or a doctor that deals with sports injuries to have a look at it and get a proper plan for strengthening the chest.
Posted On:4/26/2011 1:35am
Style: MT, BJJ, BBT
Hmm.. This is just my opinion, as it lies outside of my scope of practice, but I'll offer my two pennies for what it's worth. To work your pectoralis major, you have to either adduct, horizontally adduct, flex, or internally rotate your arms. The only exercise I could think of in that group that doesn't seem to require much shoulder movement is pronation with a strength bar. Sadly I just tried it myself (my right shoulder is currently recovering from a muscle strain) and it did cause some discomfort.
A way to isometrically work the muscle (hopefully without pain) is to take a rod (broom handle or a pipe will do) and hold it at one end. Keeping your arm straight down the side of your body, place the other end against the frame in a doorway and use your pec to internally rotate the arm. When I did this, I didn't feel pain in the shoulder, but the pronator muscles near your elbow will probably limit the benefit to your pecs. I also am pretty sure that I am less injured than yourself, so you may still get pain with this exercise.
Also, if push-ups aren't causing too much pain, try shifting your hands down closer to your waist while you do them (still about shoulder width apart). I find that this isolates the chest a little better.
Best of luck to you, and I hope you have a speedy recovery. Multivitamins and supplemental protein might help, in addition to whatever your doctor tells you.
Posted On:4/26/2011 2:44am
Thank you for both of the replies. I have gone to doctor but not too much help. Medical here in Thailand not so good as west. Doctor just says dont lift weights again ever. Maybe he is right, but I do not want to quit as I need to stay strong and I love to lift weights. I did try dumbbells but could not except very very light. I did try the exercise you said ketsueki with a bamboo stick and it seemed to wrk well. i could feel it in my chest muscles and no pain. I will try these pushups next time too.
Posted On:4/26/2011 3:04am
Style: Boxing, BJJ
What's wrong with just doing push-ups? Honestly I think the kind of lower weight, higher repetitions, muscle endurance kind of chest workout you get from doing push-ups is going to be more sport-specific to martial arts than lifting heavy weights.
Posted On:4/26/2011 9:56pm
Perhaps you are right deliverator. I wanted to do weight lifting for chest muscles because all of rest of body I build up with weights, so tried to do same with chest muscle. But really I think when I was younger and in competitions I think I was faster and punch harder when I did only pushups and not bench press. But other people have different opinion, so I don't know which is best.
Posted On:4/27/2011 2:30am
Here's a little anatomy trivia; hopefully it helps you decide what's best for you. Any exercise in which you overload your volume and then allow for recovery will develop muscle. Your muscle has three types of fibers in it.
Type I fibers are called "slow-twitch." They utilize oxygen slowly, putting out lower levels of force for longer periods of time.
Type IIx fibers are "fast-twitch." They can only sustain output for a few seconds at a time before they run out of oxygen, but they have huge power for those few seconds.
Type IIa fibers are unique, and they are the real reason why your training methodology is important. They lie in between the other two in terms of aerobic capacity, but are highly adaptable. Your training will decide if these behave more like Type I fibers, or more like Type IIx. In highly trained athletes, Type IIa fibers can sustain output for up to three minutes on a single load of oxygen, and put out considerably more power than a Type I fiber.
Opinions on this do vary, and I personally feel that I get more mileage with the bodyweight/ high endurance training than I do from high weight/low rep weightlifting. Keep in mind that I'm also pretty small and don't want to move up in weight class if it can be avoided. On the other hand, GSP is a fantastic pound for pound fighter, and he is trained much in the other direction. His explosive power is phenomenal, but sustained effort pains him.
The best anyone can do, I believe, is to do their own research with specific goals in mind and figure out what will work best for them. If you enjoy lifting weights, then it will probably be easier to motivate yourself that way than to switch up your routine. That said, I understand that you need another option right now, because the traditional exercises are causing pain and are in danger of creating bigger problems. As long as you don't feel any pain in your joints, or sharp stabbing pain in your muscles or fascia, then by all means do what works.
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