Why does my shoulder hurt when I bench press?
You may experience a hurt shoulder or shoulder pain on the bench press due to your posture when benching. If you round your shoulders forward during bench press they will be more internally rotated. Internally rotated shoulders will cause pain, impingement or excessive stress on the rotatory cuff muscles.
In this article, we’ll be looking closer as to why you may get a hurt shoulder while on the bench press.
Reasons for getting a hurt shoulder or pain on the bench press?
Typically, when you’re bench pressing a lot, you may experience a hurt shoulder due an overload on the structure of your shoulder.
Reasons that this may happen is typically from sacrificing form while benching heavy. However, other reasons for a hurt shoulder on a bench press can also come from muscle weakness, poor muscle activation, muscle tightness (if you trained the day before) and muscle imbalance.
Not knowing when to rest is a big one. When you want to progress quickly on the bench press, you may find yourself training on it as often as possible to get that lift as high as you can.
You must resist temptation, overdoing it can lead to weakness, which can lead to sloppiness – with the end result being you getting a hurt shoulder, or shoulder pain from a bench press.
Are there ways you can help yourself to avoid a hurt shoulder when on the bench press?
Yes. When you’re benching, before lifting the weight, pull your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
Do not bend your elbows too far outward when you are going down with the bar, this could create an awkward angle for your shoulders and hurt them on the bench press. Keep it tight and controlled, and go down with the weight with your shoulders pulled back.
Next you should be aiming to get the bar to touch the middle of your chest. Going higher or lower could put unnecessary stress on your shoulder joints and get them hurt.
Will the bench press always hurt my shoulders, should I not do it?
Bench press, when performed in the correct way with strict form and a weight that you’re comfortable with – should not hurt your shoulders.
If you’re doing it right, you should not have a problem.
However, there are always exceptions, and some people just have shoulders that hurt on bench no matter what – be it from injury or genetics. If this is you, you may want to explore dumbbell bench press instead, which can allow your shoulders to move with more freedom.
Why does my shoulder hurt every time I do bench press? | Summary
Your shoulder may be hurting due to improper form. While benching you could be accidentally internally rotating your shoulder which puts unnecessary pressure on the joint and causes pain.
Make sure your shoulders aren’t rounded forward to avoid them getting hurt. Instead try to pull your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together before performing your lifts on a bench press. This can help keep them more stable and avoid problems like this which can cause them to get hurt or in pain.
If you’re still having trouble, you may need to look into performing dumbbell bench press to take the pain off your shoulders.
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