T Nation

Getting Shoulder Pain from Bench Press

I’m 39 on TRT and never been a consistent lifter until a few months ago. Been trying to increase my bench when I got to 165 I had trouble getting the bar off the rack and I could feel it in my shoulder this was over a week ago and it’s still happening. Once I get the bar off the rack it’s mostly ok but I can still feel it up to a day or two later, and even after it goes away it comes back next time I try to bench. I don’t have a spotter which I think would help, or a gym that has the bench press in a cage I’ve looked into several. Today I tried dumbbells and it was better but still a little bit of pain. Any advice? To make sure it’s not related to form today I tried following this video but still had the pain.


Getting a max rep off the rack and into position is tricky without a spotter anyway, but where exactly is the pain?

I default to bicep tendon for a lot of my pain.

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I wouldn’t say that’s my one rep max, I’m guessing I could probably do at least 185 maybe even slightly more. But not with this shoulder pain and it would require a spotter.

That spot does seem right in the video. I’ll try that thanks.

Can you describe your pain a bit more? Where do you feel it? One or both shoulders? Do you notice any movement in one that isn’t happening with the other during the lift?

I’m 40 and have dealt with bench related shoulder pain for years. I even stopped benching for a while and considered just dropping it forever. I’ve found some stuff that had really helped and I’m back benching.

Just my left shoulder, the bone that sticks out is the best way I know to describe it. The main time I have pain is when I’m trying to lift the bar off the rack. Once I get it off the rack I’m mostly good to finish the set although the pain might last 1-2 days. It just hurts to get it off the rack but only on my left side.

Stretch your chest hard immediately post workout. Actually after any session with upper body work in it not just bench…

Obv look at technique also -tuck elbows in a bit more, bar trajectory, getting tight setup etc

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Maybe you are too far away from the bar or too far away from the uprights when you unrack the bar. If you have to reach way, way back behind your head to get the bar your shoulders can get “loose,” instead of set up “tight.” You might think about getting closer so the unrack is shorter.

Are the hooks that hold the bar adjustable? You don’t want to have to push the bar too far to get it out of the out. Ideally your shoulders won’t have to come off the bench to get the bar out. Maybe think about raising the bar higher to start off.

Maybe you’re pushing with too much shoulders in the bench press. Consider warming up with a few sets of rows and tricep extensions to get your upper back and arms ready to go so they take some pressure off your shoulders when you bench.

No adjustability at all it does seem high up to me and I’ve looked into several gyms and none were any better. I’m considering adding Planet Fitness as a 2nd gym for $10 a month just go use smith machine to bench, even though it’s far from ideal.

Maybe I should just buy my own bench set.

What does your lifting routine look like?

If you’re new and trying extra hard to increase your bench press you may be doing more work than you can recover from. Or pushing harder than your shoulders are ready for.

Are you doing anything crazy?

Uhhhh you might think so. I’m about to start the 4th and final week of doing 5x5 of squats/bench/deadlifts 3x week. Only have 3 more times of these.

I think we found your problem!

When I neglect upper back work (traps, rhomboid, rear delts), I often start getting shoulder issues. Especially if that neglect comes with lots of pec and lat volume.