bench press and shoulder pain

Discussion in 'Training Forum' started by thegr8tone, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. thegr8tone

    thegr8tone Junior Member

    Hey bros,
    Quik question, have bad pain in both shoulders,but for some reason if I bench in a squat rack they don't bother me as much.
    Myquestion is......Can I still make gains bench pressing this way?
    I know it won't do anything for the stabalizer muscles but will I still be able to put on size?
  2. graybass

    graybass Member


    Bro, I 'm the king of shoulder pain from bench pressing. I competed in power meets for like 15 yrs. I dislocated both shoulders at meets(not at the same time!) Minor tear in both rotator cuffs.
    I've found first you must rest any injury completely, than you should start back stupid light, bench with like 20% of max the first week, IN THE SMITH MACHINE.
    Work other angles, Incline, Decline, etc.Only do lifts that DO NOT HURT!!!!
    If you are pain free, rest 4-7 days, and repeat with 5-10% more. You should keep makin progress like this, you will get stronger. Eventually you be able to switch to the free weights. This must seem very conserative, Trust me, if you re-injure your shoulder it could set you back a couple of years, Plus you must avoid invasive surgery on the shoulder at all costs, unless you have lost all function!!If at any point you feel pain go back to the begining.
    I found that inclines didn't hurt me so I would do 8-10sets of incline bench instead of flats. For me I slowly got it back, it took 4 yrs to come all the way back!!But I'll never compete again (I'd rather just be all big and shit)
    My main points are, do not rush your recovery, slow and easy wins the race, you will be able to put on size ,just lift smarter, not always heavier,
    This is a hard adjustment for us knucle heads, but you do not want to be a cripple.
    Just my .02 GB :cool:
  3. Freddy

    Freddy Junior Member

    Are you doing any external rotation work? Stuff like power cleans, upright rows, cuban presses, or external rotations with dumbbells?
  4. txjustin

    txjustin Junior Member

    I have been having the same problem which in my case was caused because of baseball. I have been laying off of bench and doing more on incline and flyes. For rehab I do light weights strictly for the shoulders and more specifically the rotator cuffs.
  5. bencher56

    bencher56 Junior Member

    Use Your Triceps To Bench And Not Your Shoulders. I Had This Problem About 5 Years Ago. I Asked Louie Simmons What I Should Do ? And That Was His Answer. He Knows Alot About Benching , And He Has Gave Me Alot Of Good Advice.
  6. Wolf

    Wolf Junior Member

    friend of mine had a rotator cuff injury and he does fine as long as he uses dumbells instead of the straight bar, so when my shoulders get to hurting i switch to bells now and it seems to help.
  7. thegr8tone

    thegr8tone Junior Member

    Shoulder Pain

    I Understand About Starting Slow And Building Up After Pain Subsides But This Isn't Something That's Going To Heal.
    I've Already Seen A Spesialist And Had 3 Cortisone Shots In Each Shoulder My Only Option Now Is Surgery Which I'm Not Going To Have.
    I'm Going To Start Doing Some Rotator Cuff Exercises,can You Give Me A Couple Of Good Exercises For This Area Please.
  8. graybass

    graybass Member


    Man I here ya!!! Good luck Bro, patience is the key.(PS I agree, do some lite rotator and shoulder press work!) Only if pain free.
    Keep us posted, I'm sure you will continue to get some good advice here! GB
  9. eleven11

    eleven11 Member

    you MUST keep your rotator strong or you're going to have problems. I quit benching about 1.5 years ago after my 3rd shoulder surgery. Hammer machines is all I can use anymorebut they get the job done.

    By the way I still have a large tear in my left shoulder and bicep and the machines have allowed me to keep working out. I'm tired of surgeries.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2004
  10. Homebrew

    Homebrew Junior Member

    my shoulders hurt real bad after several sets of flat benching. i, too, had to go to the smith machine. that helped some, but i was researching and found an article dealing with my problem. it was suggested to do declines instead of flats. that was the ticket for me. i can move alot more weight this way and no pain or hitching at all. making nice gains. HB
  11. borrachopower

    borrachopower Junior Member

    bicep tendonitis

    alot of times. "shoulder pain" from benching is misdiagnosed as "rotator cuff syndromes".
    the most common type of tendon overuse syndrome of the rotator cuff is supraspinatus tendonitis...on top of the shoulder and towards the top of the scapula.
    pain in the anterior deltoid region is usually bicep tendonitis. either the bicep tendon is inflammed or it subluxates in and out of the interbicipital groove due to laxity of the interbicipital ligament.
    i found that alot of warm-up sets followed by stretching and hanging from a bar works great before doing chest exercises.
  12. thick

    thick Junior Member

    decline barbell screw with my shoulder. especially when i had to use a smith a few years ago. DB's are the most shoulder friendly for me by far

  13. Wolf

    Wolf Junior Member

    hey borrachopower what are the treatment options for supraspinatus tendonitis cause that sounds like what I have. The pain doesn't keep me from working out its just a nagging feeling on top of my shoulder. I can lift my arm up over my head and when i lower my arm down laterally I can feel a dragging feeling on that tendon with my other fingers pressed on that tendon. my fingers are pressed right at the base of my traps on top of my shoulder and thats where the dragging and pain comes from. my arm aches sometimes if it is lifted for a long time like just having it out moving the computer mouse around. anyways, thanks for the info...
  14. HeavyLiftr

    HeavyLiftr Junior Member

    Sorry you're having shoulder pain when benching, but I gotta admit I hear it all the time, and I'm trying to get people to see that flat benching kill your shoulders unless you're using dumbbells. It has to do with your wrists having to conform to the barbell when your elbows drop behind your back during flat barbell benching. During dumbbell benching, and you should ask someone to watch you to confirm this, you naturally bring your arms AWAY from your body as you descend and closer to your body when you ascend. This is the natural motion and function of the pectorals. When you use a barbell for benching, the delts take over from a point about 10 inches above your chest and below.

    If you can't stay away from barbells then do inclines, and stay the hell away from declines. You work the same muscles doing weighted dips that you work when doing declines, and dips are a hell of a lot more safer for the shoulder than declines - barbell, dumbell or otherwise.

  15. Josh

    Josh Junior Member

    Sounds like an impingment bro... I have them in both shoulders and there hell. Ive been doing physical therapy and its helping -J
  16. borrachopower

    borrachopower Junior Member



    sorry to tell you, but the treatment options are nsaids and rest. remember, tendons arent as vascular as muscles and complete healing from tendinopathies may take up to 7 months!
    i have worked through my bicep tendinitis for many many years and it hasnt gotton any better or any worse. also, i really dont like taking meds--why stress your liver and kidneys any more than we are already doiing with our "chemical enhancement".
    during flare ups, i try to ice the area. if you decide to take time off, dont immobilize the area---you need blood supply for healing to occur. just stay off the heavy weights during flare ups and do rubber band work.

    as for me, i'm a dumb fuck and i just work through the pain! lol my condition is chronic so its not gonna go away.

    "do as i say, not as i do..."
  17. Wolf

    Wolf Junior Member

    Thanks for the info josh and borrach power. I have switched from barbell to dumbells to see if that would help some and it seems my shoulders don't hurt as bad but it doesn't feel like I am getting as good a workout but atleast there is less pain afterwards. After I end this next cycle I am going to try a little gh to try and keep my gains and see what it does for that shoulder healing. take care...
  18. borrachopower

    borrachopower Junior Member


    HGH is the one thing that probbly wil heal your tendinitis. it builds up/regenerates collagen to help tendons. equipoise and deca just add fluid to the joint space. hope it works out for you...
  19. Wolf

    Wolf Junior Member

    Do you think 1 to 2 iu per day would do anything noticeable for my joints. I have heard high does can be counter productive and cause more joint pain. Thanks again...
  20. borrachopower

    borrachopower Junior Member


    everyone is different, see what works for you. you may try 4 iu's per day with no pain, who knows. if it does hurt, decrease by 1 until you find the best dose.