T Nation

Benchpress Pain?


I've recently begun benchpressing for the first time in my weight lifting routine, (previously i just did incline dumbell flyes).
I am inquiring whether anyone else has ever had an upper back pain while doing flat benchpressing? The pain is on the spine and is accentuated when i breathe in deeply and it flexes the said area.
In a week i had raised the weight by 10 kgs for reps which may have caused this though i can easily handle it, (in terms of muscular strength at least)
It did not hurt before this change but i can't be certain the sudden increase caused it, maybe it is a certain threshold weight that my back can tolerate rather than the sudden jump.

Any incite would be appreciated.


Your back is the platform you lift from. Your shoulders blade should be held back and together. Keep them there throughout the lift.

The only movement should be in your arms. The rest of your body should be completely still, stabilising you.

Bring the bar down about nipple height, let it just touch the skin, pause and then reverse the movement. Don't jerk the weight, smoothly, squeeze the bar up. Lower it down slowly and under control.

If you lift like this you won't have any problems.



My inciting is done.


I've heard of other problems with Bench Pressing but I have to be honest: never heard of this one before!


Thanks for the replies. I'd like to add that the pain goes away after a few hours but will return the next time i bench.


start with 2 board presses, then as your body gets used to it do 1 board, then continue unto regular presses.


Thanks for this advice.
Apart from board presses and pec flyes (which i know don't pain me) are there any other alternative exercises that are more likely than not, to be pain free?
Maybe close grip benches or incline. I tried incline straight after doing my flat bench presses so i can't tell if they do cause pain or not. I will test out variations but if anyone has some alternatives it would save me from further injury.
thanks in advance,


Have you tried pushups with weight? And/or strengthening your back with rows, scapular retractions, facepulls, that sort of thing?



Pec Fly's are not an alternative to bench pressing. Try floor presses and reverse band presses or more d-bell work . Don't do more than 2 to 3 pressing exercises a workout, because you need to add some back work on this day as well.


It may be to do with lack of back work seen as i have not trained by back for a long time as i seem to have developed a bruised vertabrae from arnold presses.
Though i am not using very much weight on the benchpress so i don't think back weakness is the cause. (only using about 70 kilos for reps of 15 at the moment)
By pec flyes being an alternative exercise for benchpress, i meant an alternative exercise to target pectorals. Other exercises can be used for triceps.