Rotator Cuff Racking Pain

A month ago I was trying my first bench shirt. I tried shirt-benching the same weight I had just doubled raw. Before I lowered the weight to my chest I heard a pop in my shoulder & it hurt, so I racked it. I pinched my supraspinatus. Looking back I realize I had my spotter deadlift the weight to my hands (not just the typical easy liftoff.) That probably allowed my shoulder to be in a bad position as the weight bore down on it.

Over the last few weeks I’ve replaced my bench workout with external rotation work, bent over flys, etc. and searching for tricep work that would keep my shoulders out of it. Now (a month later) I can bench about 90% of my old 10RM almost pain free. The biggest problem I am having now is I can’t rack the weights when I’m done with my set. Bringing the bar, with arms extended, from over my chest to the rack hurts & I fear it will re-injure my shoulder.

Has anyone been through this & how did you recover? Is there an exercise or stretch that will get me past the racking pain? How about a technique change when racking? I’ve tried different ways (elbow positions, “pulling the bar apart”) to keep the shoulder tight when racking, but it still hurts.

I have a month before my first powerlifting competition, so I want to start upping the weight. I figure as long as I can bench a weight pain free, I’m not doing any damage. I can get spotters to rack the weight for me (but that’s not legal in USAPL is it?)

Tell me what you think.

Just want to check to see if you got the PM I sent about your shoulder. Sometimes they don’t go thorugh.