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Do these two steps to decrease shoulder issues while benching!

My shoulder hurts, I cannot do that!

My personal trainers and I hear this so many times. Most of the time we are able to fix the movement and are able to guide people to save and sound movement patterns that let’s them train hard and succeed with their goals.

Post Rehab Training at Shape Up Fitness and Wellness Consulting

The shoulder is the joint with the biggest range of motion in our body

One common problem arising is when people start bench pressing. Today’s blog post is solely addressing the position the bar should be in when it is lowered to the chest, where it is lowered to the chest and what I can do to regress the movement a little to take stress off the shoulder joint.

When the bar rides up to the throat

This is a frequent mistake when bench pressing. The bar is lowered to the throat and is brought back up. This flares the elbows out wide and starts to constrict on the joint space between humerus and acromion. We can work into an impingement of the supraspinatus tendon or have a possible inflammation of the bursa sitting right there. The bursa’s job is to protect tendons but can get inflammed and start swelling which in returns decreases the joint space and increases possible pain in the shoulder

When the bar touches the chest

I personally have no problem benching and having the bar touch my chest. My shoulder is fine. I usually don’t do it though. Instead I use a half foam roller to slightly restrict the range of motion somewhat. The decrease is not that much but it definitely lowers the stress on the long head of the biceps tendon. The question is why. Once the bar is lowered beyond a certain point the humeral head glides forward in your socket to accommodate the movement while being weighted. This exponentially increases the stress on that long biceps head and can be another cause of shoulder pain.


Stay safe. Consider the risk to reward ratio. Putting a small cushion on your chest, especially if you have long arm might decrease the risk of injury and being out of training. Does the little bit more range of motion that you have really make that much of a difference, especially considering that the range of motion trained overlaps slightly into the untrained areas?


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