T Nation

Shoulder Mobility Drills


I’ve been trying for six months to increase my bench beyond 185lbs but after my last attempt there is this spot in the middle of my left delts and on my trap that is sore. I went to a chiropractor some months ago and he relieved the pain but it only flares up when I bench. It first occurred several years ago but until I started benching it wasn’t a huge problem. If I hold my thumb on the muscle or whatever it is for long enough the pain and size subsides but it gets really hard and painful when I bench or overhead press.

I’m thinking that I just have poor shoulder/thoracic mobility because during squats I can’t get my wrist and arms completely under the bar, they flare out like I’m getting ready to punch.

Is it a mobility issue or possibly more?


Do you deadlift? I had a similar probably and the paing was cause by using the reverse grip. My left side, the side I used a under grip, caused a imbalance in traps.
When I benched the bar was uneven. I do some pulls and stretches with cables


I do a mixed grip yet the pain is on my left. After doing some mobility test it seems I have dual impingement and a overall lack of flexibility.


Get bands or cables and do shoulder dislocates, pull them apartment with a overhand grip and then underhand grip, do face pulls with the bands, and foam roll your back, by your shoulder blades, and lats. You can also use a tennis ball or lacross ball to roll out your shoulder joint.

Till you get some mobiliy switch some of your exercises, to give your shoulders a break. Front squat or safety squat instead of back, trap bar instead of deads, and try to bench with a strong arch to protect your shoulders.


I would suggest you confer with a orthopedic physician or someone whom is a physical therapist.


Yeah I planned to pause benching for awhile as it is the only lift that causes discomfort but I can do dips with no issue. I’m under the impression I have huge form issues with my bench.

Thanks for the advice


No problem, I just went through this and had to play around with exercises. I found that warming up with bands and switching a couple of my exercises helped.


I caught myself lifting straight up during the bench instead of pulling with my last. When I OHP or back squat the pain is non existent thankfully, the pain and poor form are holding me back from heavier benching unfortunately.


I am not a big bencher, but I would tell you to drop the weight and work on perfecting your form. Allan Thrall and Mark Bell have great youtube videos about benching with perfect form. Pushing a heavier weight will do you no good if your hurt your shoulder.


Yeah I completely agree with you, I fully intend to drop the weight and get my form together. Thanks for the help


Could try reverse grip bench while working out the mobility issues…

Long term, work like hell to build up the triceps so as to take the strain off the pec and shoulder tendons and when get back to regular benching do the majority with a close grip with elbows fully tucked. False grip can help also…


I switched to the OHP last night as it was kind to my shoulders. I think I will try the false grip though I need I need serious work on my shoulders. Thanks man


I tried the reverse grip for nearly a month reaching-160lbs and my left shoulder continued to hurt when using heavier weight. I’m not having pain when OHPing.

Could I do a seated strip the rack and low weight bench press while I work on my shoulders or should I avoid pressing for awhile?


Id say quit dicking around and see a physician if possible preferably a Orthopedic specialist !!

Heres a home video of what could happen if you sit on it too long…Enjoy


Try hanging from a pull up bar for as long as possible. I don’t recommend jumping up and hanging but if you can step up and gradually lower yourself until fully extended. I use this as a warm up just about every day.


Just read this part… FYI I have had two different shoulders surgery one was directly linked to a impingement issue. Take my word for it REHAB SUCKED!!You might want to address it with more than band pull aparts and the such. My first suggestion is stay focus on your posture along with look at some external rotator cuff work along with a few other things…


I’ve changed some of the lifts around and been doing rotator cuff work. I was able to lift with no pain just going to stay at it since it seems to be working. thanks for the advice as I had been movements that weren’t helping the issue.