Tricep bottoms can cause shoulder impingement, but learning proper technique and weight control can minimize your chances of injury. Dives can work your triceps, shoulders, chest and back, depending on the variation you use, but the stress on your shoulders is constant. Performing the movement correctly puts more pressure on the muscles and less on the joints. You may need sand volleyball shoes for training.
What is a shoulder impingement?
A impingement is a condition in which the shoulder blade presses on the surface of the rotator cuff, causing pain and swelling. The pain is worse when you lift your arm, or in the case of the bottoms, when it is lowered to the ground. If you find your elbows pulling away from your body during dives, you’re putting yourself in a prime position for a shoulder impact. Most cases do not require surgery, but can prevent you from exercising for several weeks.
3 causes that can lead to shoulder impingement
Using too much weight
If you’ve been doing tricep backgrounds for a while and have progressed to doing more than just body weight exercises, adding too much weight too soon makes you a candidate for shoulder impact. As exciting as it is to tie that plate to the weight belt, it can put too much stress on your upper body before your muscles are strong enough to handle it.
When your muscles can’t hold the load, some of the stress is transferred to the shoulder joint, which isn’t designed to carry as much weight in an up-and-down position. When you combine the extra weight with the poor form in which you fall while struggling, you can’t expect your rotator cuff to come out unscathed. Instead, increase the weight very gradually and use a smaller range of motion until you are comfortable with each progression.
Having Poor Posture and Technique
The dives seem simple, and some people tend to jump on the parallel bars and start without instruction. The reality is that you have to be very careful with your technique if you want to avoid injury. The bars should be shoulder-width apart, but never more than 6 inches from the hips, to avoid stressing the shoulders. When you dive, you should only feel a slight stretch in your shoulders, and your elbows should bend about 90 degrees. Your body should be straight, even if you have to bend your legs to keep them off the floor. This is true whether you lean forward to work the chest or keep your elbows near the triceps; if you cannot do the exercise with the proper technique, you are not ready to do it.
Suffering a previous injury
If you’ve had a previous shoulder injury, avoid tricep bottoms entirely. Instead, do presses and extensions to work the same muscles as you do on dives. If you’ve had a shoulder impact, rotator cuff injury, tendinitis, bursitis or similar injury, your shoulder is likely weakened, even if it has healed. You may be less able to handle your body weight in a semi-rotary motion, and you may re-injure more easily. If funding is important to you, consult your physician or physical therapist to clarify everything before attempting the exercise.