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Shoulder Pain After Benching

I hoped that anyone who has had any problems or knows something could say something.

This problem has bothered me for long time. It has ached for some time and got better, again and again, but not very often. Lately it has appeared very often. Every next day after benching. Incline was the worst and I dropped it. When I bench it is ok, but on the next day it starts. Not when moving my arm, but if something challenges and needs more strength to be used.

I have tried benching the bar with pain. It occurs in upper part of the movement, fom halfway to locking out. The pain is basically in biceps. Sometimes at side deltoid area.

I have read on this site something about shoulder pain (rotator cuff) that occcurs in other places, like front delts. This can’t be a torn muscle due to the long aching-period. Although, my lifts aren’t imbalanced. My bench is weakest of the 3 lifts, I can barely bench my bodyweight. I have been doing external rotator exercises for 2-3 months and progressed in weight. Usually the pain subsides by the next upper body day (3-4 days) and I hit the chest again.

Can anyone say what could be the problem by this information? Btw. the pain is only when pressing, I can do pullups/rows and other things without problems.

Show us a vid of your benching, you may need to change your form up.

If you are doing shoulder work with external weight, stop for some time (until it stops hurting). There is a pretty big load on shoulders while you are benching. Most likely, you will need to change the way you bench. Lie down on the bench, place your feet on the floor and pull them towards your head. Arch your back up as hard as you can (if its hard to arch, then you are tight in your abs or your back is fatigued).

Bringing your legs more toward your head will help you arch your back. Keep your ass, hamstrings and scapulas on the bench though. Push your scapulas hard in the bench (move them together and push them down to the legs). Take the weight off the rack (better ask someone for a hand off, otherwise you will lose tightness), now, lower the bar on the lowest part of the chest, but not on the abs.

You need to find the right spot. Dont bench high and dont bench too low. Benching low (not too low) will help you recruit your triceps more and will keep triceps udner 45 degrees to your lats. Its gunna be much easier to handle heavier weight with this technique. When you bench on decline bench, you can bench more than on incline and flat because the load on shoulders is reduced.

Arching your back on the flat bench simulates the decline the bench. Plus, the higher the arch, the short the path of the bar, which means easier to bench big weight. Try to find some material on how to bench right.

Mr.Y,
I’ve had shoulder pain while/from benching for about 5 years now, from lack of proper, well rounded and periodized training, stretching, and impatience through injuries also

-i know they most likely are completely unrelated, but does it feel like one of your shoulders starts to give out and go up (thing shrug motion) out of the protected position, kinda locked in the girdle like its supposed to?

-if so, i hear external rotation is whats lacking as the base (i now need to correct many other issues since it wasnt taken care of right away)…but perhaps this is for you to?

what does your shoulder “do” when you bench heavy…or is everything fine/symmetrical and just hurts afterwards or something?

Brian (lurker) M.

I don’t bench heavy when it hurts. Usually it subsides… but I have tried with low weight and it hurts a lot around biceps area. I can press the bar halfway up with no pain, then until locking out it aches.

It can’t be caused by wrong technique. I have trained for over a year and I have learned the lifts I do. My hands are at 45 degrees and I lower the bar to highest point of my chest (almost powerlifting style), but I don’t have that much arch. I started this technique because of this same problem like 9 months ago. I read this is better for the shoulders.

Another this I have found is that the more incline the more pain. So on incline is pain the worst, on flat it is still bad, but on dips (decline angle) it isn’t that bad at all. It should be sure that the problem is with shoulder, although the pain is around biceps area.

Btw. I dropped incline out this week and I haven’t done external rotator either.

I have shoulder pain which prevents me from benching but in my case the reason seems pretty obvious - my left collarbone is about 5 cm shorter than the right thanks to being broken and not set.

I’m able to do some “substitute” exercises, though. What I found out works for me without pain is floor presses (or bench presses without going down full range) and weighted pushups. I’m also working on improving shoulder strength (I can do overhead presses with no problem) so hopefully soon I will be able to bench press.

I had something similar a couple years ago and it turned out I had a winged scapula. I’d stop benching for a while and add some serratus anterior work. Thats what I did in physical therpay along with external rotations. I also did a lot of upper body stretching.

It could be many things, I would get it checked out. If after trying to fix stuff it still hurts I would get it checked out. Good luck.