Plenty of Space… Am I Ready to Press?

About the Author: Eric Cressey

Q: Using much of the advice from your T-Nation articles, I am successfully fixing all my kinetic chain problems and my shoulders feel better than ever. I had a minor tear in teres minor. I know that overhead pressing might not be a good thing for someone with my problem; however, when my doctor x-rayed my shoulder, he told me that I have plenty space in the joint. Would you recommend that I still follow the advice given in the Shoulder Savers series? Would you recommend that I do dips? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

A: Let pain be your guide. Your pain could be related to an AC joint problem that you don’t even know about; that would be made much worse by dips – but you likely wouldn’t have any pain with overhead pressing. Conversely, if your teres minor tear is the problem, the overhead pressing would probably cause more problems than dips (although neither would be particularly good for the shoulder).

Just so you know, a good subacromial space on x-rays doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have a good space during dynamic activities. Keep that in mind as you move forward cautiously…

Also, a lot of people have good spaces, but poor scapular stability, thoracic spine mobility, etc. A lot of things affect whether or not you can perform a particular exercise pain-free.

Eric Cressey