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Thread: Bench-press shoulder problem

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  1. #1
    Newbie timlovesrugby's Avatar
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    Bench-press shoulder problem

    Since i started lifting weights i have always had a problem with the bench press. At higher weights for me with a barbell, i get a sharp pain deep in my left shoulder when the bar is lowered. I have not attempted the bench press recently in fear of creating a larger injury. I have never noticed an injury in this shoulder, nor do i get the pain in ANY other exercise or movement which has led me to believe it is my form that is the issue.

    From watching lifters online i noticed it may be that i have the bar too high up on my body when lowered, as in it is level to the top of my pecs rather than sternum. Could this be the cause of too much stress on my shoulder joint or something? I thought it might mean the weight is on my shoulder as opposed to my tris and pecs...

    Any opinions or advice would be very welcome thanks (:

  2. #2
    Addicted to Adrenaline LevesqueIsKing's Avatar
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    Hmmm...I ussually lower right onto my nipples, so that would be low chest. Its basically personal preferance. I doubt it has a HUGE affect on your gains, so next time you go to the gym try lowering in a few different places and see if the pain changes.

    Also, it could possibly help if you got a lift-off. Lifting the bar off the rack stresses your shoulders a lot. Regardless, it doesnt sound like thats whats hurting your shoulder, it could possibly help.

    Have you had any previous shoulder injuries?

  3. #3
    Newbie timlovesrugby's Avatar
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    Thanks for advice (: I will definately give both a try

    Nope never had a shoulder injury that has been noticable, which is why i reasoned that it is my form.
    The pain feels like a sharp jab deep, like at the joint, and is in a really small, precise spot. hard to describe..

  4. #4
    bimmer 328is drag's Avatar
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    does it feel like your shoulder can seperate when your doing down because a ligament or something feels torn inside?

  5. #5
    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    You could try switching to dumbbells for a while. Don't keep doing something if it's causing a deep, sharp pain. That's a good sign that something is wrong.
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  6. #6
    Newbie timlovesrugby's Avatar
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    Urm i guess it feels tight, not like it will tear away but like its got aknot in it haha.

    and yeah dont get same thing with dumbbells but I'm in a dilemma.. i would have thought they are not as good for strength training, more for body building. I might be wrong though.

  7. #7
    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    Dumbbells are fine for strength training. SaVvy on here is huge and he exclusively uses dumbbells. Do whatever feels right. Bodybuilding is also strength training. What do you think bodybuilding is? Aerobics? Playing cards?
    Last edited by sCaRz*Of*PaiN; 04-28-2007 at 05:13 PM.
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sCaRz*Of*PaiN View Post
    Dumbbells are fine for strength training. SaVvy on here is huge and he exclusively uses dumbbells. Do whatever feels right. Bodybuilding is also strength training. What do you think bodybuilding is? Aerobics? Playing cards?
    in responde to a PM about this - although ive been taking a break from them recently cuss of powerlifting goals, yeh ive used bells a lot - the advantage of dumbbells is you dont need a spot so you can go hard an hit failure if you want to + both sides of your body have to work hard so it evens out your strength + with bench press for me at 1st i would use a lot of shoulder an triceps an not so much chest when using a barbell, with dumbbells it focused more on the chest >i like dumbells for overhead press, shrugs, rows, an curls also

    p.s im not that big dude!

  9. #9
    Newbie timlovesrugby's Avatar
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    hahaha, true. But bodybuilding is more isolation exercises i suppose. All i want is power for better performance :P and am led to believe that the bench press is key to this kinda thing.

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    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    But bodybuilding is more isolation exercises i suppose.
    No it isn't.


    and am led to believe that the bench press is key to this kinda thing.
    You've been mislead. There are a lot of key components that will get you there. Bench press is only part of the equation. And you can use dumbbells if bench press is destroying your shoulder.
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  11. #11
    Newbie timlovesrugby's Avatar
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    ok cool. Thanks alot for advice .!

  12. #12
    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    If that pain keeps up, you might want to go see a doctor.
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  13. #13
    Hulk Smash! LouPac's Avatar
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    Try to work on your form too. Pinch your shoulder blades together as much as possible, tuck your chin into your chest, keep your shoulders tucked in, and don't let your elbows flare out. Putting all that together should keep your shoulders safe and healthy.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LouPac View Post
    Try to work on your form too. Pinch your shoulder blades together as much as possible, tuck your chin into your chest, keep your shoulders tucked in, and don't let your elbows flare out. Putting all that together should keep your shoulders safe and healthy.
    Exactly. If you don't learn these, you're going to hurt your shoulder - it won't matter if you are using a barbell or dumbell...

    Try to bend the barbell into an upside-down "U" while you are benching. The shoulders should be pushed down towards the feet, not bunched up towards the ears.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
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  15. #15
    Newbie timlovesrugby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    The shoulders should be pushed down towards the feet, not bunched up towards the ears.
    this is exactly what i have not been doing

    As this is my first thread, i am surprised at the amount of helpful information i have recieved and would like to thank all who contributed. Will definately be returning to this forum.

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    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    Exactly. If you don't learn these, you're going to hurt your shoulder - it won't matter if you are using a barbell or dumbell...

    Try to bend the barbell into an upside-down "U" while you are benching. The shoulders should be pushed down towards the feet, not bunched up towards the ears.
    That's actually really interesting. I like little tidbits of advice like that. They can help tremendously.
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  17. #17
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    Head position on bench

    Quote Originally Posted by LouPac View Post
    Try to work on your form too. Pinch your shoulder blades together as much as possible, tuck your chin into your chest, keep your shoulders tucked in, and don't let your elbows flare out. Putting all that together should keep your shoulders safe and healthy.
    RECALL seeing something about how you get better strength and performance if head is not lifted and driven back into the bench.

    Any thoughts ?

  18. #18
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BROWNTBDD View Post
    RECALL seeing something about how you get better strength and performance if head is not lifted and driven back into the bench.

    Any thoughts ?
    Very old thread, but it varies from person to person.

    I like to lift my head and then slam it back when I get the press command. I can see where the bar is going as well as keep my upper back in better position

    Experiment with both and see which feels more natural.


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  19. #19
    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    Even so, the straight bar can still put unnatural stress on the rotator cuff joints. I, due to a genetic limitation, can't actually do the bench press, which completely sucks. The bench press isn't for everyone.
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  20. #20
    Hulk Smash! LouPac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sCaRz*Of*PaiN View Post
    Even so, the straight bar can still put unnatural stress on the rotator cuff joints. I, due to a genetic limitation, can't actually do the bench press, which completely sucks. The bench press isn't for everyone.
    I agree. I was just pointing out some tips he could incorporate before he actually gave up on the barbell press.

  21. #21
    DeaTH BeFoRe WeaKNeSs sCaRz*Of*PaiN's Avatar
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    ^^

    Well, of course. The compound lifts are a lot more complex than some people want to believe. Starting Strength makes that quite apparent.
    "The only easy day was yesterday."

  22. #22
    Newbie timlovesrugby's Avatar
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    yah i do believe that i was putting way to much stress on the shoulder with my technique (which was pretty much non-existant:- no use of legs, no shoulder pinch etc)
    But will take all into consideration and go back and work on it

    managed to mess up my knee badly in rugby this morning so will have to wait
    /cry
    :P

  23. #23
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    try doing a warm up for your shoulders before each set...that has helped a great deal with my shoulder pains...

    i usually use 5-10lb plates and just sorta warm up the shoulder a little bit proior to each set...havent had any shoulder issues since i started doing that.

  24. #24
    Hulk Smash! LouPac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by borracho View Post
    try doing a warm up for your shoulders before each set...that has helped a great deal with my shoulder pains...

    i usually use 5-10lb plates and just sorta warm up the shoulder a little bit proior to each set...havent had any shoulder issues since i started doing that.
    This is a good point, most people do not perform a proper warm-up for the bench press. Some rush right into their working sets, or at the most do 1 warm-up set with lighter weight. A powerlifter I know that benches 700 lbs (shirted) advised me always to start warming up with the bar and work up slowly no matter how much you bench. Ever since I started doing that I've noticed I've gotten a lot stronger and I've had less shoulder injuries/pain.

  25. #25
    Seen yer member? shansen008's Avatar
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    Cuban Rotations are a nice shoulder warmup....
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