How To Fix Shoulder Pain During Dips And Bench Dips

Shoulder pain during dips and bench dips is extremely common. Dips are the squat for the upper body. However, dips require the shoulder to reach its full motion. They must also be strong in these positions.

Most Common Diagnoses Causes Shoulder Pain With Dips

Biceps Tendinitis

When you do dips, the front part of your shoulder works hard. This is where the biceps tendon is. It gets the most stressed placed at the bottom of a dip. This spot can hurt if your tendon is inflamed or irritated. If doing a dip hurts most when you go low, it might be this tendon giving you trouble.

Scapular Dyskinesis

The scapula, or shoulder blade, helps your shoulder move through its full motion. The shoulder blade is responsible for 30% of shoulder movement. The shoulder joint does the remaining 70%. If your shoulder blade isn’t moving like it should, your shoulder joint tries to do more than it’s supposed to. This can make your shoulder tired and sore because the load is focused on one part of the shoulder.

Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy or Tear

The rotator cuff is a key muscle that keeps your shoulder stable. It’s the main muscle that turns your shoulder out and stabilizes it. Other big muscles in your chest and back turn the shoulder in. This means the rotator cuff has to work extra hard in the other direction. If this muscle group is weak or hurt, doing something like dips can be tough.

How Do You Fix Shoulder Pain Due to Dips


When your shoulder first gets hurt, you should rest. After it’s had some time to rest, you can start doing exercises to start rehab. Depending on the severity of the injury it can be anywhere from a week to a month. Eventually, you need to strengthen the shoulder.

Exercises to Fix Shoulder Pain

Here are some effective exercises to relieve shoulder pain with bench dips and regular dips.

Rotator Cuff Isometrics

Stand in a doorway. Keep your elbow bent at 90 degrees and push against the doorway for 45 seconds. Do this five times. This shouldn’t hurt much, if at all. This is great for strengthening the rotator cuff without aggravating the shoulder.

Anterior Delt Isometrics

Stand in a doorway. Your arm should be straight and at your side. Push your arm against the doorway like you’re doing a front raise, but keep your arm at your side. Do this five times for 45 seconds each. You should barely feel pain. This begins loading the shoulder in the most difficult portion of the dip movement making it a great exercise.

Incline Push Ups

Do push-ups with your hands on a low box or something raised. As you go down, feel your shoulder blades pulling together. As you push up, feel them spreading apart.

Scap Push Ups

Start in a regular push-up position. Now push the floor away so your upper back rounds. As you lower yourself, keep your elbows straight and feel your shoulder blades squeeze together. Then push the floor away as much as you can, imagining your shoulder blades sliding apart. Do three sets of 12. This is to strengthen your serratus anterior. This is one of the main shoulder stabilizers.

90/90 Row to Y

Use a cable machine with light weight. Start with a high row, making a 90-degree angle at your elbow and shoulder. Then rotate your shoulder so your hands are near your head. Now push straight up. Reverse the motion to go back to the start. Do three sets of eight. This exercise strengthens all the important shoulder stabilizers.

How to Modify Dips If They Hurt Your Shoulder

Perform Assisted Dips

If dips hurt, try doing them with assistance. This can help take some pressure off your shoulder. This can be performed on a machine or heavy resistance band anchored overhead.

Reduce How Far You Go In The Dip

Don’t go too low in your dips. Going less deep can help keep your shoulder from hurting. Limit how deep you go to place less strain on the shoulder.

Perform Straight Bar Dip

Try doing dips on a straight bar. This can help you keep a better form and reduce shoulder pain. This movement reduces how much the shoulder extends. This makes the movement more tolerable.

Avoid Bench Dips

Bench dips can make shoulder pain worse because they stretch the shoulder a lot. At first, stay away from bench dips. Later, when you can do dip variations without pain, you can try bench dips again.

How Long Will You Have Shoulder Pain With Dips

Everyone is different. Some people feel better in three to six months. If you want to get better faster, we can help you. Go to our contact page and send us a message. We can see if we can work together to fix your shoulder pain.

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