Does anyone else get shoulder pain when doing flat bench? Is this caused by bad form, or do I just have bad rotator cuffs? I can lift heavy on incline without problems, but the flat kills me. Any ideas?
Thread: shoulders hurt on flat bench
02-29-2012, 05:08 PM #1
02-29-2012, 05:17 PM #2
02-29-2012, 05:23 PM #3
02-29-2012, 06:15 PM #4
02-29-2012, 06:48 PM #5
02-29-2012, 11:34 PM #6
It might be your form, it might be weight, it might be your rotators. I used to have shoulder pains too, in my case it was form. Use a grip width that puts your forearms perpendicular to the floor when the bar is lowered. Make sure your elbows are not in line with your shoulders nor are they too close to your body, you should use a comfortable angle between the two. Squeeze your shoulder blades together so that you have a stable base for benching, arch your back, push your chest out. Control downward movement and explode upwards, too slow execution can put undue stress on your joints. Of course there is more to proper form, but these are the elements I can relate to your problem. If still feeling pain, try lowering the weight, if that doesn't work go see a doctor.
02-29-2012, 11:45 PM #7
03-01-2012, 12:11 AM #8
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If using a barbell hurts, then stick with dumbbells. Keep your shoulders retracted as you push, and don't flare your elbows too far away from your body. If you feel pain, stop. If it persists, rest until you can bench without pain. As soon as you cause serious damage to your shoulder, it will never be the same.
03-01-2012, 12:56 AM #9
Op, I have exactly the same as u have! I can incline barbel bench heavy, but not flat, for flat bench I use dbs and feel awesome! I cant use med grip neither, then I feel like high-tension current inside the area between wrist and elbow when OH pressing, benching etc. But If wide grip, then no probs. I dont think its about my form or weight, but some rotator cuff issue. So I dealed with it, and just use DB instead of barbell for flat bench and wide grip for all press exr."I do it because i can, I can because I want to, I want to because you said I couldn't." (c)
03-01-2012, 01:03 AM #10
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03-01-2012, 07:16 AM #13
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03-01-2012, 07:20 AM #14
Do you have any scapular winging? I did and it caused me intense pain first on flat bench then as I kept working out wrong it progressed to any pressing motion. Had to take 3 months off from doing any presses.Look under your chair. YOU GET A REP, AND YOU GET A REP, REPS FOR EVERYONE! If I get a rep, you get a rep, every time. Give me a link to make my life a little easier.
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03-01-2012, 08:53 AM #15
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03-01-2012, 10:43 AM #16
03-01-2012, 12:18 PM #17
Something the video doesn't mention, but I find helps to take the strain off the shoulder joint and put it on the pec where you want it, is to squeeze your shoulder blades together while bench pressing. I squeeze them together while getting situated on the bench, and keep them that way through the set. Try it out, in combination with what the video says.
03-01-2012, 02:01 PM #18
03-01-2012, 02:10 PM #19
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yes, yes i have. i pitched for 8 years as a kid before i even began lifting. when i started getting into the higher weight ranges my shoulders really began to hurt.
while scrolling down i saw some benching vids. i'm assuming they describe the olympic style, in which elbows are tucked and bar is lowered to the bottom part of your chest. if so, this is what helped me push into the 300+ weight range w/ little to no pain in my shoulders. you should know however, this isn't the best chest exercise. it allows you to use more tricep/lat to do the movement. as such, i'd recommend doing a dumbell press for chest development in addition to the flat bench.BS in molecular biochemistry
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03-01-2012, 02:19 PM #20
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Is this caused by bad form, or do I just have bad rotator cuffs?
I can lift heavy on incline without problems, but the flat kills me. Any ideas?
Try dumbbells, any and all machine Presses, Inclines (which you've already found you can perform pain-free), Flyes, Cable X-Overs, and any other variant you can do that doesn't cause pain.No brain, no gain.
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03-01-2012, 02:50 PM #21
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The source of the pain could be bad form, but at the same time it's probably shoulder impingement. Too many novice weight trainers only train what they can see in the mirror, and forget about all those other muscles.
From reading the thread, it sounds like you have some poor form, but let me follow up with:
How often are you working your scapular stabilizing/shoulder girdle muscles?
If you don't know what I'm talking about then you're most likely not, and this leads to various shoulder problems. Basically, abnormalities in the rhythm of movement between the shoulder blade and ball and socket joint.
Often times it does undiagnosed unless you see an orthopedist or physical therapist. But a weak shoulder girdle/scap-stabilizing muscles can result in impingement, rotator cuff tendinosis and shoulder instability.
This leads into my next question:
How often are you training your back muscles? (Technically the muscles over your scap are shoulder muscles so I won't discuss those yet)
Are you hitting your rhomboid major and minor, and lats at least 1:1 ratio with your chest and delt lifts? If you're not then muscular imbalance could also be causing your shoulder issues.
Since you're not in front of me and don't cheat do this:
Stand sideways to a mirror so you get a "profile view" of your body. Now look at your shoulder, does it point forward or is it pulled back? If it's pointed forwards, then you have a muscular imbalance (but it doesn't mean it's not also a movement problem), if it's pulled back then the root of your shoulder pain probably has to do with movement.
If it's muscular imbalance, I would suggest working your back muscles at a 2:1 ratio to your chest and delts for a couple of weeks, then do the check again. Make sure you're not cheating and pulling your shoulders back, it should naturally happen.
If it's movement/stability, you need to work your trap, primarily lower trap (if you want to know how good a trainer is, ask him how to target lower your lower trap, 70% will give you a line of crap or say "huh") and your serratus anterior, in addition to your rhomboid major/minor, lats and rotator cuff. And equally important (actually important for all muscles) is flexibility. You'll want to incorporate in these stretches:
-Cross body adduction: below neck level, at neck level, above neck level
-Roll-over sleeper stretch
-Internal rotation in abduction doorway stretch
-Towel roll and corner stretch for pectoralis minor
-Core body flexibility
Also if ever in doubt, go see a medical professional.
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