Pirate in Pink – Working Through Joint Ache

I hadn’t done declines in months, and after such a long layoff, I was glad to be easing up 155 for twenties.  Each time I return to a movement I haven’t done in a while, the shoulder joints provide fresh pain from the new angle.  But if I work that motor pattern for several weeks, I find I can up the weight without too much further pain.IMG_0566Inclines are a notorious shoulder-wrecker.  I hadn’t done them in maybe 13-14 years and was always very weak on them.  On a slightly shallower incline I think I’ve done 265X6.  Here I’m doing a couple sets of thirty with 40 pound dumbbells.  No increased pain followed in the next twenty-four hours!  But the declines and inclines yielded some very welcome muscle soreness for this broken down ol’ pirate.IMG_0570Orthopedic surgeons tell me to avoid overhead movements.  But this past fall go-’round, during which I benched 135X51, I used single or double sets of very light weights for 30-40 reps and found it improved my pain-free range of motion.  I generally did some variation of overhead press or front raise as therapy.  (By the way, though it makes the movement potentially even rougher on the joint, and is more difficult to do,  I always put my head forward through my arms at lockout.)IMG_0585cropPowerlifters scoff at things like triceps kick-backs. We say things like, “they’re the domain of bodybuilders.”  Yet my shoulder handicap has hindered no group of exercises so much as those used to hit triceps.  So I’ll hammer whatever I can get away with!  The other nice thing about kick-backs, an exercise I find rather unpleasant, is that because the triceps span both elbow and shoulder joints, isometrically contracting at the shoulder joint, one works the muscle in both functions.  It’s true for many tri exercises but it’s particularly pronounced in this position.IMG_0592Along with the hanging leg raises I posted the other day, it was a decent first shot at this part of the mesocycle. Physical pain was manageable both during and after training. Pumped and training to these tunes, the psychological/emotional pay-off was wunderbar!

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