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help with upper bicep tendon/front delt/pec tie in injury and PL style pressing

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  • help with upper bicep tendon/front delt/pec tie in injury and PL style pressing

    Hey fellas. I've been lifting for 10 years on and off. Before learning the dangers of bodybuildier style flat benchpress, I used to do it all the time. About 6 years ago I was flat benchpressing and I felt a sharp pain in the area where my upper bicep tendon, front delt and I'm guessing the pec tendon all meet.

    Question on my injury. Is it considered a pec injury or a upper bicep tendon/front delt tie in injury???

    What I'm trying to figure out is if the injury is considered a pec injury or a bicep tendon/front delt injury. I'm not sure if it's considered to be a pec delt tie in injury because the pain is right where the upper bicep tendon conncects to the front delt which I'm guessing is still considered the chest delt tie in area.

    If I'm not mistaking the pec tendon actually runs all the way up and inserts into the front delt and upper bicep tie in area.

    Even though the injury is at the upper bicep tendon/front delt tie in area, I don't have any pain when doing bicep work or shoulder work. I can do heavy dumbell shoulder presses all day and heavy bicep work all day with no pain or aggrivation to the injury.

    The injury only gets aggrivated when I do chest work with elbows flare past 45 degrees with barbell presses or dumbell presses. The injury came from flat benchpress in the first place 6 years ago. This is why I'm thinking my injury is pec related.

    This injury comes and goes. It has come back now even though I stopped flat benching years ago. My main lift for chest has been incline benchpresses. However even incline benchpress has been agrivating the injury.

    What I'm finding is the higher the incline on the bench, the less aggrivation I feel in the injuried area. Like I said up above. I can do high 60 degree incline benchpresses and shoulder presses all day with no pain in the area. It's only when I do lower incline benchpress and flat pressing movements with my elbows flared above 45 degrees where the injury gets hammered.

    I was talking to a guy at my gym about my problem and he told me he had the same problem but then started doing chest work with his elbows tucked in to protect his pec delt tie in area and still hit his pecs. Basically power lifting style benchpress and other chest work with elbows tucked to the sides.

    I have been doing PL style chest work with elbows tucked in for a month now I'm and happy to report no pec, delt, bicep tendon tie pain but now the problem is I don't fill the tension in my pecs anymore. Doing PL style form for chest work has actually been working my ticeps more and causing them to hit failure before my pecs do. I'm actually way stronger when pressing with my elbows more flared out and I feel the pecs working way more even though I'm aware that chest work with the elbows flared out is asking for further injury.

    I'm trying to figure out why my triceps keeping taking most of the load when doing all of my pressing movements with my elbows tucked.

    Most guys I see in the gym with huge impressive wide armored looking pecs, use the elbows flared out bodybuilding style form on flat and incline press movements. I even see most bodybuilders flat bench and incline bench with the traditional arms flared out style with awsome pecs. The only bodybuiders I've seen create huge awesome pecs using the PL style pressing method with elbows tucked in is (Branch Warren) and (Johnnie Jackson).

    There's a few power lifters in my gym and they do all there chest work using the elbows tucked in method. They are strong as hell and one of them reps 495LBS like child's play. However, I've seen them with there shirts off and they all have poor pec develpment with huge front delts and huge triceps.

    Like I've said before. I have adopted the PL style method with all pressing movements to protect my pec, delt, upper bicep tie in injury but I'm not feeling the tension in my pecs like I use to feel when I use to do all pressing work bodybuilding style. Instead I feel the tenison in my triceps with the PL method.

    So I'm looking for advice on how to remedy my triceps taking over. Keeping the elbows tucked in when doing chest work is definitely a great way to work around my injury but my damn triceps take the brount of the load, leaving my pecs out of the equation. When ever I press with dumbells or barbells with elbows tucked in I feel like i'm doing close grip presses for triceps instead of pec work and I can't do any chest fly movements with injury. I think this is why I see most power lifters with weak pec develpment but with huge front delts and huge triceps.
    Last edited by saiyan22; 07-27-2011, 10:59 AM.

  • #2
    Sounds similar to what I have.... Ruptured pec minor tendon
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    • #3
      Hey LG1. A ruptured pec minor hu. I don't know if I ruptured anything but I'm gonna have this nagging 6 year long, comes and goes injury checked out to see what the problem is. So you have the same pain in the upper bicep tendon/front delt tie in area as well.

      It's so confusing because when I train biceps or shoulders I have no pain. I can dumbell shoulder press 115 pound dumbells with no pain to the injury and I can also do 60 degree high incline barbell presses with 275 pounds for 4 - 6 reps with no pain at all to the injury.

      The injury only bothers me when I have the bench lower then 60 degrees all the way down to flat press chest work in which I have to tuck my elbows in to work around the pain.

      The problem I have with tucking in of the elbows is it takes away from the tension on my pecs and places it on my triceps with barbell, dumbell or machine press work.

      It's seems like doing chest work with my elbows flared out hits my chest better for pec development but I can't do them any more because that method injured me. The elbows tucked in method is safer but I can't feel my chest working with that method. Only my triceps and lower pec area.

      I see bodybuilders like Branch Warren who does all his pressing movements with his elbows extremely tucked in to protect his shoulder pec tie in area and his chest is huge but with me I only feel the majority of the load in my triceps when having my arms tucked in like Branch does.

      What can I do about this??? Please guys. Chime in and help a fellow lifter out.
      Last edited by saiyan22; 07-27-2011, 11:41 AM.

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      • #4
        Yours may be a tear/bad sprain and not a complete rupture like mine. I would suggest seeing a sports doc who specializes in that particular "area" and get an MRI done. You need to find out what's wrong exactly/specifically.
        You can see in my avatar that my right pec minor is ruptured. I never had it surgically repaired, hence the bulge in the pec/pic.
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        • #5
          Hey LG1. So does the pec minor insert into the upper bicep/front delt tie in area because that's where I'm feeling the pain when doing chest work with the bench lower then 60 degrees down to flat work.

          No pain at all with high incline benchpressing work with the bench at 60 degrees or higher. I actually feel my pecs and especially upper pecs working better when doing high incline benchpress with the bench inclined at 60 degrees.

          I know most guys would say the front delts will get hit more from inclline pressing at 60 degrees but not me. My upper pec region is nice and sore the next day after heavy high incline work.

          If I do chest work with the bench any lower then 60 degrees or flat bench work then the injury gets aggravated and I have to compensate by tucking in my elbows which sucks because my triceps then take over like I'm doing close grip benchpress since the elbows are tucked.
          Last edited by saiyan22; 07-27-2011, 12:35 PM.

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          • #6
            Sorry, not sure about that and don't want to give you incorrect info.
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            • #7
              Hey fellas. I'm scheduled to see an ortho doctor this Monday coming up at 11am. I've been researching on the nature of my injury and I'm starting to think based off my research that my injury isn't pec related at all. I think the problem is actually a bicep tendon injury.

              Basically where the bicep connects to the front delt or the front delt bicep tendon tie in area. So this whole time that I thought my delt pec tie in area is injuried the research I've been doing shows that it's really my damn bicep. If this is true then that's crazy because I can train biceps all day doing all kinds of curls with no problems. It's only when I do any kind of flat chest presse or low incline chest press with my elbows flared out that the pain in the bicep front delt tie area is aggrivated.

              You see the bicep tendon runs underneath the front delt and connects that way so when injured one thinks that the injury is shoulder or pec related when in fact it's the upper bicep tendon.

              Now I'm not sure about this but I'll find out once and for all this Monday when the doc does an MRI on the area. I'm betting though that my injury is an inflamed or partically torn bicep tendon where it runs underneath the front delt pec tie in area.
              Last edited by saiyan22; 07-30-2011, 04:32 PM.

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              • #8
                Well saw the doc yesterday and he sez that my injury is in deed a pec tendon injury. It's crazy because the pain is right in my front delt where the bicep tendon inserts but the doc sez that the pec muscle runs all the way under the shoulder and inserts in the same spot as the bicep front delt tie in area so when injured it tricks people into thinking they have a front delt injury.

                The doc told me to take antimflamatorys and ice the area. He also said to stay away from any chest fly movements and when doing any kind of chest press excersize to keep my elbows tucked in at 45 degrees or lower. Basically he was recommending stuff to me that I already knew. LOL.

                So at least now I know that the injury is a pec injury and now I can make the neccassary adjustments with my training. Still trying to get used to doing my chest pressing with my elbows tucked in like a power lifter. All of my weights took a nose dive with this method since my triceps come into play more. When I used to hit chest work with my elbows flared out bodybuilding style, I'm so much stronger but oh well.

                Safety first. LOL.
                Last edited by saiyan22; 08-02-2011, 07:31 AM.

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                • #9
                  Glad to hear that now you know what the injury is and how to work around it and get better. Speedy recovery to you....
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                  • #10
                    Thanks LG1 for the support man. It seems like this thread has pretty much been me and you communicating so i thank you for helping me bro. Been icing the area like crazy lately. LOL.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by saiyan22 View Post
                      Well saw the doc yesterday and he sez that my injury is in deed a pec tendon injury. It's crazy because the pain is right in my front delt where the bicep tendon inserts but the doc sez that the pec muscle runs all the way under the shoulder and inserts in the same spot as the bicep front delt tie in area so when injured it tricks people into thinking they have a front delt injury.

                      The doc told me to take antimflamatorys and ice the area. He also said to stay away from any chest fly movements and when doing any kind of chest press excersize to keep my elbows tucked in at 45 degrees or lower. Basically he was recommending stuff to me that I already knew. LOL.

                      So at least now I know that the injury is a pec injury and now I can make the neccassary adjustments with my training. Still trying to get used to doing my chest pressing with my elbows tucked in like a power lifter. All of my weights took a nose dive with this method since my triceps come into play more. When I used to hit chest work with my elbows flared out bodybuilding style, I'm so much stronger but oh well.

                      Safety first. LOL.
                      To me it sounded more like an impingement. Impingement can be external and internal. External impingement is the compression of the rotator cuff (usually the supraspinatus, and over time, the infraspinatus and biceps tendon) by the undersurface of the acromion. This is very common in lifters.

                      External impingement can be further subdivided into primary and secondary classifications. In primary impingement, the cause is related to the acromion because of either bone spurring or congenital shape. Secondary impingement is usually related to poor scapular stability (related to both tightness and weakness), which alters the position of the scapula. In both cases, pain is at the front and/or side of the shoulder and is irritated with overhead activity, scapular protraction, etc.. You’ll also typically see a lack of external rotation ROM because these are folks who do too much bench pressing, which shorten the internal rotators.

                      Internal impingement is more common in overhead sport athletes from the cocking position. Adaptive shortening and scarring of the posterior rotator cuff and posterior capsule in these athletes causes a loss of internal rotation and an upward translation of the humeral head during the late cocking phase of throwing (external rotation and abduction).

                      When the humeral head translates superiorly excessively in this position, it impinges on the posterior labrum and glenoid (socket), irritating the rotator cuff and biceps tendon along the way. So, pain usually starts in the back of the shoulder due to irritation of the posterior fibers of the supraspinatus and anterior fibers of the infraspinatus tendons. Gradually, this pain may shift toward the front of the biceps tendon, which implies labral involvement.

                      What you've described sounds like secondary external impingement that can likely be cured up by corrective exercise. Does what I described in the first two paragraphs sound at all accurate? I'd be curious to know what your training split looks like and what if any mobility work, tissue, shoulder stability, postural work you do.

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                      • #12
                        BTW, not sure if mods care, but this should probably be posted in the main discussion forum. It doesn't really have anything to do specifically with DC training, and more folks may see it and respond and/or learn from it there...fyi

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                        • #13
                          Hey Knickerbocker24. You could very well be right because the doc didn't want to give me an MRI. He just had me rotate my arms and do various rotator cuff exsercises where he had me push up against his arms. The doc also had me stretching out to see what was hurting and what wasn't. Hey then pushed this thumbs in the injuried area and asked me what was hurting the most then he said it was a pec tendon injury.

                          I thought it sounded kinda fishy because I didn't realize that the pec tendon insert so far down the arm where the front delt upper bicep insert. Maybe you're right and I do have a secondary external impingement.

                          All I know is the pain is right where the front delt and the bicep muscle meet and insert. The injury only flares up and aggrivates when I do any kind of chest pressing with my elbows flared out bodybuilder style or any kind of chest flies with flared out elbows.

                          When I benchpress or incline benchpress with my elbows tucked in like a power lifter there's no pain but unfortunently my triceps end up doing more work then my pecs and I'm also weaker using the power lifting style pressing method.

                          I don't think it's a shoulder or rotator cuff problem becaue I can do dumbell shoulder presses all day long with no pain. Hitting the 115 dumbells in each hand for reps with no pain in the injuried area. I can do side laterials with no pain in the injured area. Basically there's no pain in the injured area from any shoulder work, back work or bicep work.

                          The area only flares up in intense pain when i do chest work with elbows flared out higher then 40 to 45 degrees.

                          So with that information, what do you think the injury is stemming from Knickerbocker24. I want to believe the doctor about it being a pec tie in injury but after reading your post, I think you may be on to something.
                          Last edited by saiyan22; 08-03-2011, 10:41 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by saiyan22 View Post
                            Hey Knickerbocker24. You could very well be right because the doc didn't want to give me an MRI. He just had me rotate my arms and do various rotator cuff exsercises where he had me push up against his arms. The doc also had me stretching out to see what was hurting and what wasn't. Hey then pushed this thumbs in the injuried area and asked me what was hurting the most then he said it was a pec tendon injury.
                            Not surprised...was this a primary care physician or a specialist? Unfortunately those interested in performance often get the shaft in the medical community unless you're in a collegiate or professional arena because most docs blow off our opinions because they hear so much hot air from the vast majority of their uninformed patients and no one (in the medical community) cares about performance.

                            Originally posted by saiyan22 View Post
                            All I know is the pain is right where the front delt and the bicep muscle meet and insert. The injury only flares up and aggrivates when I do any kind of chest pressing with my elbows flared out bodybuilder style or any kind of chest flies with flared out elbows.
                            Your biceps have two heads, a long and a short. The short head originates at the corocoid process of the scapula and the long head originates at the supraglenoid tubercle. Both of these are on the scapula which are part of the shoulder. They join to form a single muscle belly (near the deltoid) which attaches to the radial tuberosity and bicipital aponeurosis, which is just the upper forearm. So it crosses both the shoulder and elbow joints. So, it's easy to confuse the delotid with the biceps, despite the fact that they don't share an origin or an insertion, they join really close to each other.

                            Originally posted by saiyan22 View Post
                            When I benchpress or incline benchpress with my elbows tucked in like a power lifter there's no pain but unfortunently my triceps end up doing more work then my pecs and I'm also weaker using the power lifting style pressing method.
                            Yes, this makes sense. When you bench with your elbows flared you are putting yourself in a "cocked" position. This can cause adaptive shortening and scarring of the posterior rotator cuff and posterior capsule. This causes a loss of internal rotation and an upward translation of the humeral head. When the humeral head translates superiorly excessively in this position, it impinges on the posterior labrum and glenoid (socket), irritating the rotator cuff and biceps tendon along the way.

                            Originally posted by saiyan22 View Post
                            I don't think it's a shoulder or rotator cuff problem becaue I can do dumbell shoulder presses all day long with no pain. Hitting the 115 dumbells in each hand for reps with no pain in the injuried area. I can do side laterials with no pain in the injured area. Basically there's no pain in the injured area from any shoulder work, back work or bicep work.

                            The area only flares up in intense pain when i do chest work with elbows flared out higher then 40 to 45 degrees.
                            Again, once you opt for DBs rather than the bar, it allows you to manipulate your hand and elbow position, eleviating the "cocking" position and reduces the irritation of the rotator cuff and biceps tendon.

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                            • #15
                              Hey knickerbocker24. It was a shoulder specialist that I saw.

                              Yeah I agree with you on maybe just giving up all barbell pressing movements and sticking with dumbells.

                              My injury is in such a weird place that it makes it hard to know for sure if it's truely a pec injury, rotator cuff injury or a bicep tendon injury. Like I said up above. It only hurts when I do any chest work with my elbows flared out past 40 to 45 degress. When I keep my elbows tucked in I'm weaker but pain free. When doing any kind of shoulder training, back training or bicep training, I'm also pain free. My injury is actually throbbing right now while I'm typing this. It sucks big time but I'm trying to work around it.

                              Hey knickerbocker24 and anybody else. I'm trying to upload 3 pics of me from months back. I have high lighted in red with arrows showing where the injury and pain is at. As you can see from the pics it's rather difficult to determine if the injury is pec related, front delt related or bicep tendon related.

                              For some reason it keeps saying upload failed when I try to attach the pics which are in jpg format. Is this because something is wrong or is it because I don't have any rights to upload pics yet??

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