Thanks. To answer a question, yes bench press is starting to really bother my shoulder now as well. I do and have performed face pulls for a while (my rear delt exercise) although I noticed recently that my form could be better. I’ve tried extensively warming up prior to a shoulder exercise. Moved overhead press to the very end of the workout. Lots of rubber band and tubing work warming up the rotator cuff. Doing face pulls and pull-ups prior to the exercise. Every stretch I can think of. I’ve done it all. I don’t think it’s a warm-up issue. I’ve also altered my form countless times, but the pain is just unavoidable no matter what I do. Currently I practice stronglifts recommended form for Overhead press, but I’ve done other variations. I’ve even tried seated dumbbell overhead press, which causes me even more pain. I have noticed shrugging my shoulders helps with the pain a fair amount, but even so it is there. I’ve also been doing workouts on off days where I focus on strengthening my rotator cuff. But the pain continues to get worse every workout so obviously this isn’t helping.
I’ve been trying to determine the exact location of the pain. The shoulder has few nerves so it’s really hard to pinpoint exact locations of pain, especially since when I feel pain it is brief. I think it may be multiple locations. Most commonly behind the shoulder joint, but I’ve also felt it in the front.
It is indeed very strange that 1 or 2 sets into doing the maximum weight, that the pain suddenly vanishes. But doing a ton of warming up prior to the exercise and even making it the last workout of the day has had zero beneficial impact I’ve noticed.
I’ve had this problem for about a year. Took a couple months off from the gym, but pain came back after a few weeks of slowly working my way back to my old PR. A year ago I couldn’t even lift my arm above my head without pain, so believe it or not this is not even the worst it has ever been. Lateral raises with dumbbells for me is about 10x more painful than overhead press, it’s ridiculous. Using really low weights doesn’t seem to help much either, overhead pressing 5 lb dumbbells hurts my shoulder just as much as doing it with 50 lb dumbbells. I think the problem is more related to the movement itself than it does how much weight I’m using.
Retraction of shoulder blades is not possible with overhead press because you have to raise them to press the weight above your head, and I’ve noticed doing this hurts my shoulder blades if I try to do it. But it does help with bench press, although my shoulders still hurt doing that.
My next shoulder workout I plan to see if foam rolling the shoulders, lats, traps, triceps, and biceps will help the pain. Stretching doesn’t seem to help a whole lot. In fact I’ve noticed that certain shoulder stretches seem to aggravate my shoulder (especially the one where you stretch your rear delt by pulling your arm across your body, even when performing it lightly it hurts).
All this said, I don’t normally feel pain in the shoulder outside of these exercises and towelling my hair off, and don’t feel pain lifting my arm over my head (but I did a year ago).