In the past, whenever I tried to bench press it would be OK for a few weeks, and then I would get this pain in the front of my shoulders that would gradually get worse as I increased the weight. The right shoulder was always worst, but I felt it in both of them.
I tried a couple of variations, like close grip bench and dips, but the result was the same. I actually gave up and thought I could never train this type of movement.
Then I read up on bench press technique, shoulder rehab exercises, and different bench accessory exercises. One thing I realized is that strong benchers have a very limited ROM compared to me. You see, I'm a tall guy with long limbs; my wingspan is about 190 cm. In addition to that I'm pretty skinny with a small chest. This means that my elbows go way back below the bench when I press. Strong benchers though have huge chests and short arms; I noticed their elbows usually don't go below the bench at the bottom of the lift. I also read that this was recommended in this article by Dave Tate, and in another non-english article.
Lately I have been floor pressing with dumbbells to ensure my elbows don't go to far down. I also keep my elbows very close to my body, as this feels more safe for my shoulders. I try to do it similar to this guy.This has worked great! I have now been lifting at my limit for many weeks without problems. I wanted to ask you guys though, if you think this is an OK bench substitute? Perhaps it would have been better to use a barbell, but my gym doesn't really have any convenient setup where I could floor press with a barbell. I usually train alone, otherwise I guess I could have someone deadlift the barbell into my hands.
I haven't tried this, but I guess I could press on a normal bench and just stop the movement when my elbows are in level with the bench?
I don't care about being able to bench press a high number. I just want a good exercise and get stronger in general.
What do you guys think?