Hi guys, for about 6 years I’ve not been able to do any bench-based pressing movement. That includes bench press, dumbbell bench press, kettlebell bench press - it doesn’t matter the implement, since as long as it uses a bench, I can’t do it.
I can’t do these exercises because when you use a bench in a pressing movement you’re instructed to pin your shoulder blades back (retract them) at the same time as extending your arm. That’s ‘proper form’ for these exercises. My shoulder joint cannot take that movement - I got severe subscapularis impingement that took a year of intensive rehab to get over. Even doing that movement unweighted causes pain to this day.
To compensate, I’ve been doing a LOT of lower body work and pulling movements (weighted chin ups, rows…etc…), but have not been able to do horizontal pushing for 6 years. Strangely (for someone with cranky shoulders), I AM able to do overhead presses. I think that this is because I’m ‘allowed’ to move my scapula freely with my arm when doing overhead presses instead of being instructed to pin them in one position as my arm moves.
I think that as long as my scapula is able to move with my arm, my shoulders feel healthy doing that movement. Are there any horizontal pushing movements that allow free scapula movement and you can actually progressively overload over time that are worth doing as substitutes for bench-based pressing?