T Nation

Shoulders and Bench Press


Hi to all,
im not a strong guy.
but i'm working on it.
my bench press record is at 135kg (@95kg body weight)

i can lift now 3x130kg but i have a little problem. i feel my shoulder "breack"

i dont know how describe the feeling(english is not my 1st language...)
but whem i push the barebell to lock out i feel like my shoulders would "breack down"...

i think i need more specific training on sholuders... usually i do military press and then isolation exerecize..

how can i improve the stability and strenght of shoulder joints?


Try closed chain stability work such as push-ups on a medicine ball or suspended chain push-ups.


Front raises with dumbells. Dumbell benching. Higher rep training will build up some size around the joint for support.


rotator cuff exersizes


Long arms shallow chest means eventual shoulder problems if you keep Benching.

(How is that for short and to the point?)


ding ding


I second that.

There are certain people on this site that will try to help you. He's one.


Of course you know that there are many ways to build an impressive chest but if your like me, you just love to bench.

I was on the way to destroying my shoulders from bench pressing until I did the following three things.

  1. Dedicate time in your routine for concentrating on the rotator cuff.

  2. Eliminate incline barbell press and use only dumbells on incline.

  3. Use a power lifting style on the flat bench. Pull your shoulder blades back and down, put an arch in your lower back and lock in to that position. Press from the lower chest,upper abs.

This position puts your shoulders at an advantage and in my experience will eliminate shoulder problems from bench pressing.

Good job on your improvements. Hope these tips are useful to you.


lower the volume in your horizontal pressing exercises for a while

do extra rotator cuff exercises...tons.


rear delt flyes


i already do db front rise in my wo.
i'll insert db bp...


i dont understand what you mean


as you say, i just love BP :slight_smile:

i'll insert them in my next wo.

i have already eliminate them :slight_smile:
i use DB on incline/decline.

aside the starting position i already use that setting. i'll improve it...

thx for the help:)


My point is an easy one:

Lifters who have shorter arms and more of a barrel chest are less prone to injury from the Bench Press.


Those lifters with longer arms and more shallow chests will become injured performing the Bench Press. It's not a matter of if but when!

Those with longer arms and more shallow chests can build their pecs using other means.

I do not allow my own son to Bench Press!


Zeb is mostly correct in his assertion that people with long arms will have shoulder problems. There are a few things you can do that have worked for me. First of all, my wingspan is 76 inches and I am 72 inches tall so I have gorilla arms.

Anyway, you can just stop benching and start doing dumbell-presses, which is what I did a few years ago when my shoulder began to pop. I have been benching again lately without pain or popping because I changed my posture.

What I do now is PUFF my chest up and out as far as possible while keeping the entire length of the spine straight and flat on the bench. I also tuck my chin into my neck in order to keep that part of the spine straight. The belly-button should be sucked into the spine as close as possible, this will help you open up your chest without arching your spine. Also the scapulae should be pulled back as much as functionally possible.

During the actual bench movement I have found it to be less stressful on the shoulders if I keep the elbows pointed toward the feet as much as functionally possible.

I do similiar posture and keep my elbows pointed as straight backward as possible for bar-dips.

Someone else mentioned rotator cuff excercises, these are good. Search this site and find examples of those.


Gentlemen, nobody is asking about his set up.

So, tell us, how's your set up?


There have been a number of articles on shoulder problems and benchpresses.

Adding a front raise is NOT the answer.

Shoulder the Load
by Mike Robertson

Long Live Your Bench
by Ian King

Out of Kilter IV
Stop Shoulder Pain Cold!
by Ian King

8 Weeks to Monster Shoulders
by Alwyn Cosgrove and Chad Waterbury

Question of Strength
By Charles Poliquin

Cracking the Rotator Cuff Conundrum
by Eric Cressey


I agree, but have a few more thoughts if you really like to bench.

1) keep the weight low and do reps. The max only matters for pride and competition.

2) modify your grip - bring it in to more of a closegrip range. That way your press will use more tris and less shoulders.

3) always keep your form perfect. Before your form fails, rack the weight. Better safe than sorry.


Number one is an exceptionally good piece of advice!



Do NOT add a front raise.


"Oh this works, I'll add that, oh this works too I'll add that as well"

Take some time off, or at least limit your horizontal pressing volume and do some goddamn rotator cuff work for 3-4 weeks.

Hell you might bench MORE with the break than if you hadn't!!!!!!!!!

Read those articles bro.


[quote]ZEB wrote:
My point is an easy one:

Lifters who have shorter arms and more of a barrel chest are less prone to injury from the Bench Press.

ok, now i have understood. i'm quite the kind of "short" lifter you talk about.
i'm 1.70m tall with a 1.20cm chest circumference