T Nation

Problems w/ Bench & WBM

I have problems with my upper back especially after bench pressing. I know it’s probably my form that is to blame. I have read most articles here regarding the bench press and have tried to adopt, but without much success. My chiropractor has more or less forbidden me to do the bench press, he’s very good in biomechanics etc. but no real expert in weightlifting. What should I do? I?m thinking of substituting bench press with Chads slide push-ups (Build a Huge Chest in Six Weeks). I’m currently on WBM and the next step is TBT. What do you think does that sound like a plan or am I doomed to have puny pecs for ever? I have no problems performing dips, flyes, push-ups, pull overs etc. The problem seems to origin from bench press with either dumbbells or barbell. Any advice in the subject would be much appreciated

Regards Tomas
PS. Sorry for the bad English, but English is not my native language and I feel a little rusty. I’m more than happy to clarify my problems or provide more information)

What happens exactly to your upper back after benching?

[quote]Loki wrote:
What happens exactly to your upper back after benching?[/quote]

My trapezius get all stretched and cramped up (especially one side), feels like som sort of “lock up” in it is origin in one of the 12 Vertebrae Thoracicae (upper back?). It results in headache and sometimes a little bit shortage of breath(hard to take deep breaths). It is solved with massage and “pressure” in the right place by my chiropractor. He always asks me if I have been benching again (I usually have)

Are your chest and back balanced in terms of size and strength?

[quote]Bob423 wrote:
Are your chest and back balanced in terms of size and strength?
[/quote]

No and that could very well be the problem, I can row aprox. 85% of my bench and that’s not good. Maybe if I get some more meat on my back the problem dissapears? What if I avoid the bench in favor for slide push-ups and dips and really hit the back on my workouts with rows and deadlifts?

[quote]Crocodile wrote:
Loki wrote:
What happens exactly to your upper back after benching?

My trapezius get all stretched and cramped up (especially one side), feels like som sort of “lock up” in it is origin in one of the 12 Vertebrae Thoracic (upper back?). It results in headache and sometimes a little bit of a shortage of breath (hard to take deep breaths). It is solved with massage and “pressure” in the right place by my chiropractor. He always asks me if I have been benching again (I usually have) [/quote]

It might be the seratus anterior instead of the traps or both just to confuse the matter :wink:

How is your posture? Do you have rounded shoulders? Do you spend most of your day sitting with your head forward (ex. studying, reading, computer work)?

[quote]Gastrocnemius wrote:
How is your posture? Do you have rounded shoulders? Do you spend most of your day sitting with your head forward (ex. studying, reading, computer work)?[/quote]

My posture could be better, might have probs. with slightly rounded shoulders as well, but I’m working on improvement in that area. I will ask my chiropractor what he thinks, but his general opinion is to avoid the bench press. His argument is that the shoulder blades are pressed down into the bench and can not move as they are supposed to do, thus creating stress on the back which causes my problems.

[quote]Crocodile wrote:
Bob423 wrote:
Are your chest and back balanced in terms of size and strength?

No and that could very well be the problem, I can row aprox. 85% of my bench and that’s not good. Maybe if I get some more meat on my back the problem dissapears? What if I avoid the bench in favor for slide push-ups and dips and really hit the back on my workouts with rows and deadlifts?[/quote]

rowing 85% of your bench is not bad at all. Just make sure you do equal amounts of horizontal pulling as you do pushing. I personally like to start of with high rows and finish off my workout with regular rows. laters pk

Croc,
With the information that you have given, I would recommend reading and doing Cressey and Robertson’s “Neanderthal No More” Series. This program is really effective for strenghtening the postural muscles of the upper back and shoulder girdle.

Performing this program (which involves minimal benching) would allow you to continue to train your upper body in a safe manner. I’ll bet you would be surprised what some upper back and rotator cuff training will do to your bench strenght!

As Ian King recommends in his article today, be proactive in your treatment of this condition. Maybe right down some of the exercises in the NNM article (or print out a copy) and take it to your chiro and see what he/she thinks. Don’t let medical professionals tell you “Don’t do this or that”. Instead ask “what can I do to make this better”

Hope this helps, good luck.

[quote]Gastrocnemius wrote:
Croc,
With the information that you have given, I would recommend reading and doing Cressey and Robertson’s “Neanderthal No More” Series. This program is really effective for strenghtening the postural muscles of the upper back and shoulder girdle.

Performing this program (which involves minimal benching) would allow you to continue to train your upper body in a safe manner. I’ll bet you would be surprised what some upper back and rotator cuff training will do to your bench strenght!

As Ian King recommends in his article today, be proactive in your treatment of this condition. Maybe right down some of the exercises in the NNM article (or print out a copy) and take it to your chiro and see what he/she thinks. Don’t let medical professionals tell you “Don’t do this or that”. Instead ask “what can I do to make this better”

Hope this helps, good luck.[/quote]

Thanks for the tips I have started reading NMN and Kings article was perfect timing for me.