Any weightlifters among the Teeming Millions?

I do plan to consult a trainer at my gym, but I thought I’d run this across the TM anyway.

A few weeks ago, I injured my shoulder somehow. I’ve been waiting for it to get better before I lift since most of the lifting I do utlizes that part of my shoulder. It’s not 100% now, but it is a lot better and I’d like to start doing whatever I can, lest I become a girly-man. My questions:

Doing free-weight bench presses will definitely aggravate my shoulder. I was thinking of utilizing the Hammer Strength™ machines. Will the controlled motion of these machines help prevent me from reinjuring my shoulder? How effective are the Hammer Strength™ machines compared to using free weights (talking specifically about pecs here)? They seem to appeal to the muscle-heads more than the Nautilus/Cybex machines do.

Any other suggestions are welcome.

As a person who works out regular and 5X week make sure WHAT EVER YOU DO, that you are healed.

I pulled my muscle in my back, not bad but after 2 weeks I thought well enough it still hurts but only a little I don’t want to not work out and get flabby.

Wrong on all accounts, unless properly healed a muscle should not be worked out on. I reinjured mine and was out longer than if I left it alone to heal.

By the way proper lifting and improper lifting can occur using free weights or machines. So what ever you do be careful that you are fully healed.

If you want to speed the healing, what you can dop is do many light reps on the area surrounding the muscle. Exercise it very gently in different ways (i.e. do flyes, ext.'s etc…) and make sure to use a small weight. This will help to rehabilitate it. Cheers.

…But make sure that light weight is REALLY light weight.

And if you want to work Pecs, I find that Bench presses don’t do the job, because it tires your forearms, triceps and “stabilizer” muscles before you can really work the pecs to exhaustion. The best is the “Pec Deck.” This is the one where you position both of your arms as if signaling for a right hand turn out a car window and pull your arms together so that your inner forearms meet.

If you combine this with the machine where you push out (similar to the bench press motion), but sitting down (hence controlled, so that you don’t need to use the stabilizer muscles), you can be as diesel as me in no time. (yep, literally NO time). No, trust me, it’s a good workout for the titty muscles.

Free weights are my favorite. I would do light reps on them. You’ll be fine if you have a spot you trust and know. Make sure he/she knows you are recovering and to beware. I’m sure you’ll be fine.

I usually use the Hammer Strength machines in my back routines, and they have a comfortable, ergonomic feel to them. In contrast to bent-over rows, they rarely ever strain my muscles. If the chest machines are similar, than yes I suspect it’d be a good range of motion. I’ve never used them personally, though.

Personally, as for your injury, I think you should just take a few weeks off your routine and let the muscle repair. I doubt that you’ll loose any significant strength or mass. I’ve been working out for years, and I’ve never had a problem with either loosing mass or gaining fat, even over extended periods of time. And, that’s coming from someone with a particularly slow metabolism. Heck, I actually feel good when I get back into a routine and find that my strength has jumped considerably because of the rest.

One thing that I’ve noticed over the years, and I don’t want to sound preachy, is that I usually end up hurting myself when I’m in a competitive mood. I know everyone’s not like me though. Concentration on the motion with slow controlled movements and sufficient warm-ups and stretching may be of some help.