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Crimsoncross

Chest pain from ring supports

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roman

Chest pains are a normal part of training... I get them all the time after intense ring training sessions. Usually 1-2 days of recovery and I'm fine to train again. In some cases if I overdo it (which is rare) I can take 1-2 additional days off and do something else in that time. Your training must be dynamic, not rigid. You have to listen to your body and adapt accordingly, otherwise your impatience will lead you nowhere fast. Believe me I know from personal experience, as I've spent a long time being impatient with my training, and in the long run I didn't achieve much. Now I've embraced a much more dynamic and incremental approach, and am seeing consistent results better than ever before, in terms of both strength, hypertrophy etc.

A TIP that I can give you is that if your recovery is SLOW, try taking mega doses of Vitamin C, as I found that increases the healing and recovery process SIGNIFICANTLY.

Now I'm talking about MEGA doses here, not your typical 500mg/day. 3-6 grams (that's 3000-6000mg) per day for a couple of days (or longer) will help out a lot. Just stop at the level where you start getting gas, or diarrhea, as that's your body's way of telling you that it doesn't need any more Vitamin C. Start light with 2-3 grams/day, and if you don't see any symptoms of gas or diarrhea, increase it incrementally to 4-6 grams/day.

Very simple, and most importantly - VERY effective.

More info on Vitamin C mega-dosing can be found here:

http://www.orthomed.com/titrate.htm

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Crimsoncross

Hey there.

I just wanted to make a little update because I wanted to see something:

So ever since I got the sternum pain from the rings, I couldn't even play tennis anymore, like I said. So I took like a month and a half off of tennis completely and of any exercise that bothered my sternum.

So 3 weeks ago, I started playing tennis again and now the pain is gone completely in this area, it doesn't bother me at all playing tennis anymore, nor when shadow swinging with a bag around the racket (an exercise for tennis). So it's good in this area.

But the pain is not completely gone. I still feel it there when I move a certain way. Last night I did a ring support after almost 2 months maybe of not doing it, I didn't hold it for as long as I could because I didn't want to but I did hold it for 30s I think. There wasn't any problem during the hold but when I mounted the rings I did feel slight discomforts in the sternum but it wasn't a big deal, it didn't bother me holding it.

So I just wanted to ask: would it be a good idea, if I started doing 50% time holds, to get back into this? Or should I shun getting on the rings until the pain is 100% gone?

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Joshua Naterman

If you notice the pain increases at all, back off again. If it just stays the same or starts fading, stick with exactly what you are doing. Don't add more time and don't add more sessions until the pain is completely gone for a few weeks at a minimum.

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Blairbob

It's been awhile since I've been on rings lately, so I felt something similar the other rings when I jumped on and tried doing some ring strength. Kind of dumb. It's definitely reccomended to warmup and not just jump on because I'm paying for it again. Just like I did a few months ago.

Stupid clavicle.

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Crimsoncross
It's been awhile since I've been on rings lately, so I felt something similar the other rings when I jumped on and tried doing some ring strength. Kind of dumb. It's definitely reccomended to warmup and not just jump on because I'm paying for it again. Just like I did a few months ago.

Stupid clavicle.

Lol.

I'm going to wait, I don't have the strength necessary right now to be messing around with rings anyways, don't want to push my luck.

It doesn't hurt when I do holds anymore, but I definitely feel it there afterwards during the whole day and even the next day when I move a certain way. I'm afraid training holds might eventually make it worse so I'll back off for now.

Too bad. I wanted to start training for the cross right away but it'll have to wait.

I'll try again later in 2 months.

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Crimsoncross

This pain definitely isn't improving, much less leaving.

Could it be tendonitis? Would putting ice do something?

I haven't even been messing around with ring supports because of it, but I think the dips may be doing something. Or maybe it's the handstands.

When I do any exercise it doesn't bother or hurt me, but when I wake up the next day, that's when I really feel it. It lingers around for a while but then it goes to normal, meaning it's still there but I don't feel it like I do when I wake up.

I think it could be the handstands, when I get out of one. So far I've never got out of one when on the wall doing a forward roll, I simply fall to my right, and I think this is when I do the damage.

This definitely has me pissed.

anger_managment.jpg

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Joshua Naterman

You may need to start way back with some beginner stuff for chest, like light chest flyes, push ups, biceps curls, pull ups, chin ups, etc and lay off some of the tougher stuff for a while and concentrate on building up a base of strength and let your body adapt.

I know you may have tried this, but you clearly haven't stepped far enough back. Just do PB support work and see if that causes problems. If it doesn't, that's where you need to start.

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Cole Dano

I thought the same thing while reading your post. If you really want to get back to doing supports, consider using bands for assistance so your shoulders have a chance to adapt.

In any case it sounds like band work could be excellent therapy for you.

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Joshua Naterman

It could be. He needs a lot of higher rep work too, just to facilitate the healing process.

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Crimsoncross
You may need to start way back with some beginner stuff for chest, like light chest flyes, push ups, biceps curls, pull ups, chin ups, etc and lay off some of the tougher stuff for a while and concentrate on building up a base of strength and let your body adapt.

I know you may have tried this, but you clearly haven't stepped far enough back. Just do PB support work and see if that causes problems. If it doesn't, that's where you need to start.

Well, I think that probably when I get out of a handstand is what causes more damage, but it's no big deal.

It doesn't hurt if I get into a ring support, and even holding it like 30s+, but I do feel a little pressure afterwards. I don't know if it will keep building and building and get worse. PB support doesn't bother me at all, I do dips and all.

Again, would ice or something like that do something?

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Crimsoncross

I don't even know how the hell something like this could happen from simply going too hard on rings supports for 3 days, it's ridiculous. Obviously I had something in my chest since before that so who knows what I really have.

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Joshua Naterman

Find whatever support times cause nothing, maybe the very slightest pressure afterwards but not anything significant. Stick with that until it goes away, and then add on a few more seconds. The ring supports should always be easy.

You may be on to something with the handstand stuff, I don't know. Try getting down differently and see if that helps.

If PB dips don't bother you then you're not doing too bad.

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Crimsoncross
Find whatever support times cause nothing, maybe the very slightest pressure afterwards but not anything significant. Stick with that until it goes away, and then add on a few more seconds. The ring supports should always be easy.

You may be on to something with the handstand stuff, I don't know. Try getting down differently and see if that helps.

If PB dips don't bother you then you're not doing too bad.

So you think that actually doing something, might make it go away faster, as opposed to spending months of doing nothing at all? If I were to do that again, take months off, I might just quit working out for good.

You were injured/still are too right? What was it that happened to you?

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Cole Dano

Yes, doing nothing is very often the worst thing to do. However it is important to be prudent. As you say PB work is no problem, and even a 30 sec ring is fine. Stick with that for a while, if you're really uncertain cut down to 20 sec for a month then build up.

If it were me, i would add band assisted supports for a warm up. Use that to find the best way to set yourself so it strains your collar bone less. In fact its not a bad idea to video yourself in PB and ring support, check what if anything are you doing differently, you could also post them here, there could be a form issue as well.

Ido's band routine is also good, and you could add some movements to that by doing the same series also facing the wall, and working to keep pressure off the clavicle. Get it feeling very free, almost floating during the movements and learn to stabilize with the shoulder blades. If you do this have the band high when your hands are low and low when your hands are high. The high volume of movement at the very least will help create blood-flow.

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Joshua Naterman

Elbow issues. I had some severe tendonitis/osis of the biceps tendon and some of the forearm flexors. I did have to take a long time off of full-intensity work, but I never stopped doing anything. Even during my "total layoff" I was doing weighted stretches for the whole body to work through some imbalances I had and to see what they accomplished.

My elbow rehab is going fantastically well, and as I've advised you to do I am doing a lot of higher rep stuff in my warm up and I am working straight arm stuff at a low intensity. Strength is going up consistently and pain is nonexistent now. It's perfect. I'm still not ready to really exert myself, that will take a while because biceps tendon conditioning is a slow process, but it will come.

I highly suggest that you take a similar approach. Some high rep low intensity work during your warm up and perhaps even after the workout will help you heal whatever is going on with your chest, which is probably just weak cartilage connecting the two sides of the rib cage to the sternum. It gets stronger, don't worry. I went through that years ago when I started getting into weighted dips. I just backed off for a few months, did more reps, increased the weight slowly and never had problems again.

You don't have to be working near your limits to get stronger.

As Mr Brady says, ido's band routine is excellent, it is very similar to one of the shoulder routines we learned at the seminar. Band warm ups are ideal for ring strength.

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Crimsoncross
Yes, doing nothing is very often the worst thing to do. However it is important to be prudent. As you say PB work is no problem, and even a 30 sec ring is fine. Stick with that for a while, if you're really uncertain cut down to 20 sec for a month then build up.

If it were me, i would add band assisted supports for a warm up. Use that to find the best way to set yourself so it strains your collar bone less. In fact its not a bad idea to video yourself in PB and ring support, check what if anything are you doing differently, you could also post them here, there could be a form issue as well.

Ido's band routine is also good, and you could add some movements to that by doing the same series also facing the wall, and working to keep pressure off the clavicle. Get it feeling very free, almost floating during the movements and learn to stabilize with the shoulder blades. If you do this have the band high when your hands are low and low when your hands are high. The high volume of movement at the very least will help create blood-flow.

I think you think it's my clavicle/collarbone the one that bothers me: it's not, it's the sternum, right in the middle.

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Crimsoncross
Elbow issues. I had some severe tendonitis/osis of the biceps tendon and some of the forearm flexors. I did have to take a long time off of full-intensity work, but I never stopped doing anything. Even during my "total layoff" I was doing weighted stretches for the whole body to work through some imbalances I had and to see what they accomplished.

My elbow rehab is going fantastically well, and as I've advised you to do I am doing a lot of higher rep stuff in my warm up and I am working straight arm stuff at a low intensity. Strength is going up consistently and pain is nonexistent now. It's perfect. I'm still not ready to really exert myself, that will take a while because biceps tendon conditioning is a slow process, but it will come.

I highly suggest that you take a similar approach. Some high rep low intensity work during your warm up and perhaps even after the workout will help you heal whatever is going on with your chest, which is probably just weak cartilage connecting the two sides of the rib cage to the sternum. It gets stronger, don't worry. I went through that years ago when I started getting into weighted dips. I just backed off for a few months, did more reps, increased the weight slowly and never had problems again.

You don't have to be working near your limits to get stronger.

As Mr Brady says, ido's band routine is excellent, it is very similar to one of the shoulder routines we learned at the seminar. Band warm ups are ideal for ring strength.

Lucky you. I'm not so sure what's going to happen with me.

But how did you get that injury in the first place? And could you give me an example of the high-rep things you're talking about?

I don't know man, I'm kinda scared to get on the rings again. I'm scared it'll make it even worse. But if I were to do it, what would I do? Take my max on the support hold and then do half of that and start doing 60s total?

I'm not sure it was the handstands actually, maybe it was that some days ago I did too much dips lol.

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Cole Dano

Its unusual but if the sternum hasn't stabilized getting into or out of HS can go into the same spot.

Essentially any time your chest rounds down and the shoulders forward will be the most vulnerable. This happens fairly typically when moving to and out of HS, and you should focus on keeping the chest open during the movement.

As Slizz said it will get better but it can be slow, and its good to learn how to avoid putting excess stress there in any case.

If you are afraid of the rings then don't push it, even holding a support with your feet on the floor or chair might be enough just to build confidence.

How long are you able to hold a PB support, one minute?

As Coach Sommer said early in the thread this rings support is too demanding right now. It won't be like that forever if you can just keep working the early support elements.

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Crimsoncross

Sorry to ask again but, will ice and/or heat do anything?

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Joshua Naterman

For you, high rep work with chest flyes and push ups balanced with scapular retraction work is what you need. That gets blood flowing and speeds up healing. Easy sets of 15-20 reps is what you need.

I tried to push too hard too fast and ended up with severe elbow tendonitis. Too much planche work. My muscles can exert more force than my tendons are conditioned to handle. That's the hard part about being strong when it comes to gymnastics, there's more to it than muscles.

Right now, you just need the basics.

If you're scared of rings supports, stay away from them until you can do 10 dips with 20-30 lbs of extra weight without any chest issues. More realistically, just hop up for 5 seconds once a day. After a few weeks you should be able to handle 7-10 seconds and a few weeks later 12-15 seconds. You will keep doing that until you get to 30 seconds at a minimum. In the meantime you will be doing whatever other training you can do without aggravating your chest. Pull ups, FL pulls, squats, depth jumps, etc. Build up slowly.

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Alexander Moreen
...

Right now, you just need the basics.

... More realistically, just hop up for 5 seconds once a day. After a few weeks you should be able to handle 7-10 seconds and a few weeks later 12-15 seconds. You will keep doing that until you get to 30 seconds at a minimum. In the meantime you will be doing whatever other training you can do without aggravating your chest. Pull ups, FL pulls, squats, depth jumps, etc. Build up slowly.

Listen to this man please. Stop trying to get right back to where you were as soon as your pain starts going away and actually do a proper rehab circuit. If you look back, thats exactly what blairbob told you to do in the first place. Spend a long time doing VERY SHORT -that means 5 seconds for now- support holds on the rings. Stop doing handstands for now, thats actually how I got this very same injury so it can easily aggravate yours. Focus on pulling, core, and leg work for now. Icy hot is something you should use during your rehab based workouts to help you keep your chest warmed up.

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Crimsoncross
For you, high rep work with chest flyes and push ups balanced with scapular retraction work is what you need. That gets blood flowing and speeds up healing. Easy sets of 15-20 reps is what you need.

Could you be more specific please? What are chest flyes? Getting on a pushup position on the floor but with the rings and then going wide? And scapular retraction work?

Pushups don't bother me at all, not even PPP, but you say pushups help heal this thing?

This thing bothers me the most when I turn to my left, and only a little bit to my right, and I just noticed that in a HS, I get off falling to my right, and I just tested and if I fall to my right that's when it bothers me, but not if I fall to my left (I didn't actually get into a HS and try this, I just bent over and pretended to be dismounting on both sides, but even from there I could tell it bothered me if I fell to my right but not to my left). I don't know why the pain is inverted in a HS, but if it doesn't bother me if I get off on my left, should I keep doing HS?

If you're scared of rings supports, stay away from them until you can do 10 dips with 20-30 lbs of extra weight without any chest issues. More realistically, just hop up for 5 seconds once a day. After a few weeks you should be able to handle 7-10 seconds and a few weeks later 12-15 seconds. You will keep doing that until you get to 30 seconds at a minimum. In the meantime you will be doing whatever other training you can do without aggravating your chest. Pull ups, FL pulls, squats, depth jumps, etc. Build up slowly.

I'll have to test my max on the rings support again. Last time (a month and a half ago or something) it was like 40s with the rings turned out. Do you think I should start doing 50% of my max, or even less?

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Joshua Naterman

No maxes. Just start off with short supports and build up. Doing your max is stupid right now. That's like seeing how hard you can hit with a half-healed broken wrist.

For the flyes, I mean light dumbbell flyes, bent arms. At the top keep your hands shoulder width, don't start clinking dumbbells like you're a muscleheaded fool. All that does is chip paint and rob you of tension at the top. There is no way to do a low enough intensity ring fly, not even if you're standing. Not everything can be done with just bodyweight.

XR push ups, if you can handle them, are ideal. It doesn't matter what doesn't bother you in one workout, what matters is what you can SUSTAIN for a month with no problems. You do need to be doing shoulder and chest stretching, and you should be working on your German hang. All of this is basic prep work that will prepare your body for strain.

As for handstands. why aren't you just lowering down to your head and rolling out of it? Putting any kind of strain on body parts that are clearly part of the injury is not a good idea. If the dismount you are doing, which I have never done once, is causing problems then you need to work on getting out of your HS a different way and then start rehabbing your shoulders.

You most likely have a host of imbalances, and they are working together to cause problems. The good news is that you can take care of that by treating your upper body as if it needs immediate re-balancing. Start doing and KEEP doing the stuff I am recommending as a permanent part of your warm up. This should never go away, ever.

Arm circles forward and backward, 15-20 each way.

Light weight bicep curls

Light weight tricep extensions

Light weight wrist curls forward and back

Light weight scapular retractions(2 sets), protractions, elevations, depressions. (Go through all once and then do a second set of retractions)

Moderate weight scapular protractions.

Moderate weight scapular retractions

Light weight overhead presses, barbell. Thumbs at shoulder width. For now, just do in front of the head. As your shoulders become healthier, you can do behind the head too. Behind the head is good for healthy shoulders and extremely bad for unhealthy shoulders, so do NOT try to do this at first, and don't do it at all until you can feel your shoulders and scapulae moving correctly.

Easy stick/dowel shoulder inlocate/exlocate work both standing and face down on the floor.

Everything for 15-20+ reps. These should burn, but not be challenging. You should never have to alter form to complete the set. Obviously, that means it is light weight. If something is not specifically marked for more than one set you just need one set.

This should be at a 2-3 second contraction and a 1 second eccentric. We are looking to teach the body correct movement and generate blood flow, not do muscle damage. Eccentric work causes a ton of muscle damage so for here it is not necessary or really even advisable to concentrate on it in pre-hab or warm up for the most part. It's there, because it needs to be, but not as the primary emphasis. Don't change that. Doing a faster contraction increases the force exerted, and that is not the goal here. This is purely for healing and greasing the groove.

There are no rest times because you shouldn't need them. You can do this in pretty much no time flat, 10-12 minutes should be plenty. This is very important, and if you don't do it that's ok. I'm not repeating it, once is good enough for me. This is a very short, very effective, very basic upper body pre-hab warm up.

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Sternford

I think something similar has happened to me. One day after practice my chest was hurting and I felt a tightness so I decided to stretch it out with a backbend and I heard a crack. My chest never cracked before, but now it does whenever I lean back after it feels tight. Doing straight arm forward rolls causes it to hurt, as does anything like ring or parallel bar supports. I also had a bit of pain doing german hangs. Reading this thread it seems Coach is advising that in a situation like this I should just quit anything which works that muscle, while it seems Slizzardman is saying to do a bit of work. Did I read something wrong?

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Joshua Naterman

No. What I am advocating is rehab, not work. To most people "work" implies that you are somehow challenging your muscular strength or endurance, and that is definitely a very stupid thing to do when you are injured.

At first you may need to take up to a week and in severe cases more time off, but generally you will be ready to start very very light rehab within that first week. It is perfectly acceptable, and probably advisable, to take that full week of rest from chest work just in case you really need it. However, rest does not strengthen your body, and only by strengthening your body will you overcome injuries like this one. It can take quite a bit of time sometimes, but it only has to be done once. There was a period of time when I had to do it, and I did exactly what I am recommending, and I haven't had ANY problems since.

You should start from nothing and build up slowly. That means 5 or 2.5 lb chest flyes, or maybe even just your arms for a week. You only go up 2.5-5 lbs a week. You should also do decline cable flyes, with the same emphasis on very low load. The only time you go up in weight is when you are capable of performing 20 slow reps with the current weight with NO pain or weirdness. You end the set when you feel something wrong. You do this 4-5 days a week. I don't recommend more than 2 days in a row. Only one set of each on this.

This is specifically to slowly stress the sternum more and more so that the connective tissue strengthens. You WILL need to do similar work for your scapular retractors to balance out these two movements.

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