I want to be able to train dips, with a goal of moving to ring dips, then muscle ups. My problem is that when I do regular dips, or machine assist dips, I get a high, consistsent level of shoulder pain. I think the mechanism of the injury is that my shoulders rotate internally slightly, possibly because I'm trying to recruit the wrong muscles in the movement, and I get a lot of pain in my rotator cuff.
I think its also notable that, while most people describe dips as a tricep exercise, I only feel the strain in my chest muscles. I've tried to do dips on a dip assist machine, but I have the same shoulder problems regardless of the amount of assistance I use (my theory is that the dip assist machine may be forcing me into an unnatural posture, which encourages bad technique). When I try to do dips purely as a tricep exercise (by holding my upper arms in a fixed angle relative to my upper body, and rocking forward), my triceps aren't nearly strong enough to handle the exercise.
My shoulders tend to be fairly prone to rotator cuff problems. Any exercise that's usually considered "bad for shoulders" is definitely bad for mine. Has anyone out there experienced anything similar? Has anyone worked through it?
My question is:
- do I have a specific combination of bad dip technique and muscle weakness that needs to be addressed, and once it is, I'll be able to dip safely OR
- should someone who's prone to rotator cuff problems just stay away from dips entirely, and stick to benchpresses, and standing presses (neither of which cause me any shoulder pain)
I'm 6'4", 181 lbs. I can bench a pair of 60lbs dumbbells for 3 sets of 8, and lateral dumbbell raises with 15lbs, but other than that, haven't historically done much pressing