shoulder problems limiting my bench

I have suffered a number of shoulder injuries which have left my rotator cuff in charge of shoulder stability (ie ligaments are all stretched out). While benching, my shoulders fatigue way before my chest does.

Any suggestions on how I can improve my bench, or should I rely on flyes for all of my chest work?

thanks for the help.


I had a sore shoulder for ages and doing Ian King’s 12 weeks to Super Strength helped it heaps. Give that a try.

I have the same problem mainly when I do inclines. Strangely enough the strain on my shoulders goes away when I do a military press and is absolutely non-existant when I do behind the neck press. Its just the incline angle for me… but it makes me quit incline reps around 8 too early. I hate it. I occasionally do shoulder specific work for a couple of weeks at a time and it has helped though it still hurts like a son of a bitch.

Are your shoulders (Deltoids i assume you mean, as opposed to the structures beneath) fatiguing because they are weaker or because they are taking the strain on the movement? Figure out why your shoulders are fatiguing and that will point you in the right direction (ie specialised shoulder routines or modification of benching form).
I have popped my shoulder more times than i care to remmeber but my bench strength is up again, thanks to a modified bench approach. I got really good results off a program that i got off this site, (cant remmeber who wrote it, maybe CT) that was basically 10 sets of single reps starting from the bottom position (in a power-rack) with a minute rest in between sets using about a 3RM weight. six weeks my bench was up 12 KG.

Second that: Due to a longtime shoulder problem, my bench had really dropped. Doing Super Strength added ~50 lbs to my load.

Additionally you should consider doing extra work for the rotator cuffs like external rotations, as well as strengthening your upper back (snatch grip bent-over barbell rows and the like).