T Nation

Can't Bench - Bicep Tendonitis & Rehab


So I have what I suspect is bicep tendonitis... major pain when doing full ROM dips/bench or indeed nearly any horizontal pressing exercise and also some rowing exercises at the peak of the movement. The pain is located on my left arm up near the top, near armpit and seems to start from where connective tissue from the bicep transitions with the bicep and runs down the arm a few inches along the inside.

How would you guys look after it? Or indeed any exercise like this in general

Nearly every damn person I have met has suggested resting from benching/rowing completely.

I however have been considering using partial ROM movements that cause no or minimal discomfort and progressing the ROM over time.

Which is the superior option?


When I had this, I benched with a very wide grip. This seemed to put less stress on the tendon. Took about a month to recover.


Wide irritates it for me - Ill stick to close for now.

general care though - ice?


Just got over this so I feel your pain. I Did 3 & 4 board presses w/ wide grip, floor presses as heavy as I could tolerate. I would definitely avoid full ROM dips and benches. I began alternating YTWL's, serratus punches, band pull aparts and pec stretching into my warmup. Oh and a shit load of Celebrex helped too. Anything you do that causes you a lot of pain will only irritate the biceps tendon more and prolong your recovery. Good luck!!


How long did it take to fix?


It took about 4-5 weeks total to get rid of. Somedays I could do board work or floor presses and then some days it hurt enough that I wouldn't do any bench or overhead work. Listen to your body and adjust as needed. Trying to "tough it out" will only irritate the tendon more.


wear an elbow sleeve that might help, im gettin the same problem as we speak. im buying sleeves tonight


When I had a similar problem, I stuck to Hammer Strength bench for about a month. It didn't seem to bother it, and now I am back on BB bench with no problems.


Then my reply would only be redundant.


The others have already commented on your original question.


Where did that tendonitis come from?

Pressing and rowing with rounded shoulders or some such/shoulders coming off the bench when pressing?

Excessive amount of weighted pullups/chinups, "arming" the weight up on rows and pullups like so many do?

Got to make sure you discover the source so you can avoid getting it/irritating it again. That bicep tendon is vital to shoulder health, raising the arm etc.


Hmmm I did some floor presses yesterday - barbell and hammer grip dumbells.... today my shoulder is sore again. this is really really frustrating!

I guess when I get back up to maintenance calories on monday it should help recovery.