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Why Tricep Dips Can Make Your Rotator Cuff Pain Worse

March 9, 2012 by  
Filed under Rotator Cuff

tricep-dips-bad-rotator-cuff A general perception among the general public is that the larger a man’s arms, the stronger he must be.  Also, based on survey’s, women rank big, toned arms as their 3rd most admired body part in a man behind a flat stomach and chiseled chest.

As a result, you see many men in the gym trying to build up their arms.

If you want bigger arms, then don’t focus solely on your biceps.  Your tricep muscle is much bigger than your bicep and it’s easier to build large triceps.  Your tricep muscle is actually made up of 3 heads consisting of the lateral, medial and long heads.  The lateral head is responsible for giving you that “horseshoe” shaped tricep muscle that every guy wants to have.

The primary function of your tricep muscle is to extend your arm at your elbow.  In other words, moving your arm away from your body.

One of the most popular tricep exercises are tricep dips.   This is a fantastic body weight exercise that puts extreme load on your tricep muscle.  It is very challenging exercise even for the most experienced bodybuilders.

Tricep dips can actually make your rotator cuff injury worse and should be avoided if:

  1. You have A.C. (acromio-clavicular) joint arthritis
  2. You have ever had surgery on your rotator cuff
  3. You have any instability in the shoulder area or had frozen shoulder treatment
  4. You have any rotator cuff injuries presently

The mistake that many people make when performing the tricep dip exercise is lowering their body to a point where your elbow goes past a 90 degree angle.  The safe way and key to doing dips is (whether you are using a flat bench or some other set-up) to avoid lowering your body below this point.

There is no arguing that dips exert much stress on your entire shoulder.  Not just the joint itself but also your four rotator cuff muscles.

When you perform the dip exercise properly, you not engage your triceps but your chest and shoulder muscles are loaded as well.  If you are just starting out in the gym or have any sort of shoulder discomfort or pain, you are best advised to avoid this exercise altogether.

There are many other “shoulder friendly” exercises that you can do that can put mass on your triceps without having to worry about rotator cuff problems in the future.

For those who already notice a little shoulder discomfort, chances are you already have a small tear in one of your rotator cuff muscles.  Especially if you notice that your shoulder hurts after your workout or if your shoulder pain gets increases at night.

You can stop and prevent your shoulder and rotator cuff pain from getting worse quickly and easily by implementing simple steps at home without the need for any special exercise equipment.  Best part is that you can still hit the gym as your shoulder strengthens, heals and recovers.

tricep dips bad rotator cuff

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