T Nation

Shoulder Pain During ohp/Incline Pressing


Hi guys, basically I’ve had a bit of bother with my right shoulder for a few months now. It started gradually in about September last year when overhead pressing but me being a fool pressed through the pain and hey presto it got worse. I now do not overhead press which is very sad am it is in fact my favorite lift. the pain itself is hard to describe but its whenever i press anything above a flat press, I tried db press at 10 degree incline today and bam, its there again. flat bench however is fine. the pain is like something need to click in my shoulder joint and gradually builds in intensity the longer i put myself through it.

training history:
basically 531 since June last year, before that it was just standard body part splits. at the time of the injury i was pressing 60kg for 5.

What I’ve done about it so far:
stopped pressing since about November. continued to bench though as that is pain free. started alot of stretching and rehab work such as wall angels, lat and chest stretches, YWTLs and other band work, but after about one month sweet duck all has gotten better. I am however more flexible, but that’s all very well and good when my shoulder still doesn’t work properly.

help me Tnation your my only hope


No other way to put this: go to a physician. Without someone with expertise actually meeting you face to face to examine the problem, it’s very risky to try to fix it yourself even with advice.


Due to where i’m working I’ve been forced to use the work physio and I do get the impression she’s literally reading exercises for me to do off of a sheet of paper, she also never performed a thorough exam of my shoulder and1 month later there is literally no difference. I am however looking now to go and find a good sports physio in the local area over a weekend and try and get this sorted. I really am just curious if anyone here has had this problem before, and if so how long did it take to heal and how did the fix it? No matter what gets said though I will be seeing a professional.

I realise i may be just being young and impatient but what the hell :slightly_smiling:


Until you get to a good physio, I’d recommend you drop at least any kind of inclined pressing completely especially with a bar or DB’s.

Can you do isolation exercises comfortably? If so, you can always try rehabbing the shoulder with band exercises like side raises and front raises with a short hold on the top of the movement, cuban presses with bands, rotator cuff work, band pull-aparts etc. Start with a really light band at first and gradually progress to stronger bands.


I have dropped all incline/OHP moves, Im just benching flat now without any pain. And I am infact doing YWTLs, pull aparts and other funky little moves with a band, and continuing to do side raises with dbs pain free. Ill give the short pauses a try tomorrow on front and side raises however, as simple as that is I’ve never thought about doing that. Thanks


I wouldn’t recommend trying all those with DB’s since it’s rehab we are looking for here. If you can do DB side raises pain free, do those after benching and finish your shoulder workout with band work.


Perfect world get some ART treatment on the shoulder

Also look into VOodoo bands flossing…

For me dumbell rear delt raises going pretty heavy also reallly help


Shoulder is starting to feel better, have been focusing on 2-3x daily external rotations and lateral raises with bands, whilst giving it a little break from any other direct work seems to have really helped. Pressed 30kg for 5 reps pain free today, just taking it very slowly on the progression side of things. One more thing that i think has helped is tweaking my OHP form, by shrugging at the top instead of keeping my shoulders locked down the sensation I was getting in my shoulders has gone. Good times :smile: