Aching AC Joints Aching AC Joints

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Thread: Aching AC Joints

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    Default Aching AC Joints

    • wichita falls texas december seminar 2020
    I've been getting an on-again, off-again ache in both AC joints when bench pressing. I'm unaware of any existing pathology there; I've had problems with my right rotator cuff for years due to repetitive movements and strain, but imaging about 10 years ago showed no tears. Rehab at the time helped a little, but I've had significantly less pain there since I started pressing overhead. Anyway, I don't believe this is related since it is bilateral and actually a little worse on the left side than the right.

    So far I've done the following which has helped:
    Narrowed my grip about a finger width from where I would have vertical forearms at the bottom
    lowered the touch point a little further down my sternum
    Setup closer to the head of the bench so that there's less of a moment arm during the liftoff

    Is there anything else I can do to manage this? And is there anything I should look out for to keep from injuring myself? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Long Island, NY
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    The last thing here would be managing your program (this includes things like bench frequency, intensity, volume, etc). Managing your program over time may be the most important factor in not pissing off your shoulders from the bench. Also, as an aside, I've have some success with people managing AC pain making their grip slightly wider (this is especially useful when they feel the pain at the top).

  3. #3
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    May 2019
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    Re: grip width. I did my whole LP with a slightly narrower grip, not on purpose, but I think I just misjudged proper grip width early on and went with it. Since starting up at home, using the same equipment and setup every day, and with a second set of eyes to confirm, I moved it out to where my forearms are actually parallel at the bottom. That only lasted a couple workouts because it was too painful. So I'm currently using a grip that's about a fingerwidth in from the rings. Which is still a touch wider than what I was doing before. But it seems to be a sweet spot.

    Re: Programming. I'm doing a 4-day split, 5x5 volume day and currently one set of 5 plus 2 backoff triples at about 90% as I'm working back up to prior strength levels. I intend to drop the backoffs once it gets heavier. Prior to the layoff I was cycling the rep ranges over the course of three weeks. So 245x3x2, 250x2x3, 255x1x5, 247x3x2, 252x2x3, 257x1x5, etc.

    I benched pain free last night. I wonder if part of the issue is that with the rack I built, the "hooks" are a little lower than where I would have set them in the gym. So I'm having to move the bar farther at liftoff and control it longer when re-racking.

    I'm definitely open to programming suggestions, though.

  4. #4
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    A significant contributor to what exacerbated the issue in the first place was grip change without adjusting the load down to adapt for the new positions and joint angles. Finding the right volume/intensity split for programming is a bottom-up dynamic process that is dependent on how you are responding to the training. What you wrote out is a great starting place, and if it is working on getting you back, keep doing it.

  5. #5
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    May 2019
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    Thanks, Nick!

  6. #6
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    Nov 2012
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    starting strength coach development program
    You're welcome!

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