Bench-Shoulder Debate

Welcome Joe.

I thought it might be interesting for you to share you opinion on a thread that has earned much attention the past week.

The matter can be phrased a variety of ways, but it essentially is whether or not the bench press is a dangerous exercise to the shoulders.

What do you think? – Is the FBP the culprit in many shoulder injuries?

Thanks, and have fun while you’re here…

Zeb has a great thread going on the shoulder horn. It would be great to hear your thoughts.

We must all remember that all exercises have risks and rewards. The bench press is no exception. I think that bench pressing IMPROPERLY is the biggest culprit of bench-press related shoulder problems.

I consider “improper form” to be the bodybuilder-style of bench pressing. Bench-pressing with your elbows flared out and lowering the bar to your upper chest wreaks havoc on the shoulders! This bench pressing style is much more likely to tear connective tissue surrounding the shoulder joint. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I cannot perform 1 rep of a bodybuilder-style bench press with just a 45lb. bar! I’m not kidding! It kills my shoulders.

Yet, just this past Monday I performed 5 sets of 1 in the weight releaser bench press lowering 485lbs. and raising 385 lbs. I’m only able to do this by bench pressing in the sagittal plane with my elbows tucked at 45 degrees and lowering the bar to below my chest.

Thanks Joe. I think the readers of the aforementioned thread will appreciate your opinion (and probably manipulate it to suit theirs!)…stay well.

not that anyone gives a shit what my opinion is but i agree 100%! when i try to flare my elbows out on a barbell bench press it hurts immediately! i can however perform incline, and seated dumbell presses with my elbows flared out. go figure?

Wow… now I guess I am concerned that I am benching with poor/improper form.

I will have to check that.

What are your thoughts on the Olympic lifts- the clean and the snatch?- as good replacements for the bench on chest development. Assuming good form with the help of an Oly strength coach.

I might be wrong, but I don’t think the chest is involved at all in the clean and snatch. I’m sure it’s all posterior (glutes, hams, back, traps…maybe a bit quads–on the explosion…)

Shoulder injuries in the bench press has more to do than length-tension imbalances between the anterior and posterior muscles as well as postural changes caused by poor lifting technique not just in the bench but in other exercises, sport induced imbalances, poor posture the waking 16 hours of the day, short upper trapezius and training errors that reinforce the above.