Strength training ideas for an old Grade 3 AC Joint Injury

About 4 years ago i got a Grade 3 AC Joint injury in a cycle race crash. It took awhile, but it rehabilitated to the point i don’t have restricted movement which ruled out surgery, but i have a fair amount of discomfort at times.

I admit that I have done little in recent years to help it and the strength and stability of the shoulder is dwindling as i favour my good side (Grade 2 on that shoulder 10 months ago :roll_eyes:) and the discomfort is increasing. The free flow collarbone poking out in all directions can’t help i expect!

I know very little about strength training, but would appreciate some guidance on some tried and proven workouts/exercises that have worked for others to strengthen and stablise a Grade 3 AC Joint injury, as opposed to the mobility exercises post injury.

I’ve done some googling, but haven’t found anything yet that i feel i could follow.

I too had a grade 3 AC joint injury about 12 years ago. The best thing you can do is buy you some dumbbells and do some shoulder exercises 2 or 3 days per week. It doesn’t take 5 minutes per day. If I skip my shoulder work, my shoulder starts hurting me. What is holding your shoulder together is the muscles because of the torn ligaments. If you Let those muscles shrink/weaken, you have less to hold your shoulder together. Go to youtube and search for “shoulder exercises for ac joint separation”. Then set up a schedule to do some of these exercises on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Don’t do too much just build into it like you do your cycling workouts. Except if it takes you over 10 minutes you’re doing this wrong. After 2 or 3 weeks you should notice improvements.

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Thanks. I’ll have another look on the web today, specifically You Tube

With some more searching , I’ve found 2 exercises that specifically work on the rotator cuff stabilisation muscles - Full can & Side Lying External Rotation

I’ll start on those and see where i go from there. Thanks again

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Band pull aparts, lots of them. Start each rep with your thumbs facing up and rotate externally as you pull apart (right thumb rotates clockwise, left thumb counter clockwise). That external rotation movement is going to be key to everything. I used to have shoulder issues with nearly every normal shoulder/chest exercise but finding externally rotates variants ‘solved’ everything.

  • Externally rotating band pull aparts
  • Face pulls in a cable machine. These are almost as magic as pull aparts.
  • Bench with ‘suicide’ grip (in a rack), turns your shoulders to a much safer direction.
  • When pressing overhead keep your grip pretty close and try to ‘bend the bar’ with that external rotation twisting motion.
  • Landmine overhead press is great for more pressing volume that is joint friendly.
  • Lat raises with as much external rotation as you can handle and dont go over shoulder height.
  • Lots of rows from every angle, but keep that grip externally rotated.
  • Dont squat with a normal bar, find a safety squat bar. Normal high/low bar squats are off the table for bad shoulders and unless you are competing in power lifting the SSB is a better exercise in every way. The upper back work it gives you translates directly to the bike.
  • Do your deadlifts. Really, quit slacking. A strong back makes everything more stable.
  • No chins or dips for me. This sucks, but after re-pissing-off my shoulder for the 50th time I finally had to come to terms with just doing cable pulldowns/rows.

Even on the bike, i tweaked my hood placement to keep my shoulders from internally rotating as much and i frequently ride the trainer with my palms facing center on the outside of the bend at the flats.

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Thank you so much for that. Plenty to work on there, including what I am doing on the trainer