Pain with your Bench Press?

Benching is one of the core components of a weight-lifting program but it can also be a common source of shoulder pain. 

Here are some tips on managing this!

Don’t forget about the warm-up.

New to warming up before your workout? Check out our previous blog post to guide you through a proper warm-up. 

4 Take Home Lessons to Perform Better:

1) Improve your thoracic extension - A lack of extension in the spine can result in a chain of events that causes a pinching feeling during bench press movements. Try using a foam roll before your bench press to mobilize your back. Even better, come and try out The Posture Arch for free at our clinic and see how it can improve your bench press performance!

2) Improve your scapular strength – Emphasis on getting stronger shoulder depressors and retractors (the muscles that bring your shoulder blade down and back). Weighted-cable rows and Y exercises are a good place to start.

Tip: Try bringing your shoulders down and back before you start the lift!

3) Change the angle of your bench press – The bar shouldn’t be coming down to your neck. The bar should touch your mid-chest on the way down. A diagonal path from your chest to shoulder level is ideal when pushing the bar upwards.

Your arms out 70 degrees is better than the full 90 degrees you typically see at the gym (Think of this as the angle between your torso and your arm as you set-up for the lift). 

4) Bench Grip Width – This can emphasize certain muscle groups over others. Try not to bench press to wide or too narrow. A key landmark to remember is having your elbows in line with your hands on the bar.

Always remember to grip the bar with your fingers AND your thumb. 

Final tip: Keep your feet on the ground at all times and enjoy bench day!

Written by SARO MINASSIAN, MScPT, BAH (Kin) 
Physiotherapy Resident

Orthopedic Rehabilitation
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