Given the impossibility of retracting your scapula on a flat bench, the best soplution is to pack your shoulders (down and back), which I presume you are doing. This still sucks compared to allowing full scapular movement (yes, on a pressing movement)!. I gave up flat benching in favour of weighted ring push-ups with full sapular retraction and protraction, and all of sudden, I could push without pain in my left shoulder!!! Also, you mentioned that overhead dumbbell presses are better…maybe dumbbells help? Have you tried dumbell bench presses? For me, these are moderately better than barbell bench presses, but still not as good as the rings!
Thank you for your response. The problem I have right now is my left rotator cuff is hurting. I can bench but I cannot overhead press. Even my bench is a semi close grip … about 20 to 24 inches between my index fingers. Any wider than that and it hurts like heck. I could do very close grip seated overhead dumbbell presses which I’ve tried and it doesn’t hurt my left shoulder but I don’t know if that movement will help my bench as much as doing more benches with a different rep count and/or lighter weight. My last bench session I simply did 3 sets trying to increase the reps with the same weight. I’ve always been a weak bencher and at this stage of my lifting life I don’t know if I can improve on it.[/quote]