Ferrigno Fitness Build Muscle Shoulder Pain Bench Press — Shoulder Pain Bench Press Reddit

Shoulder Pain Bench Press — Shoulder Pain Bench Press Reddit

Summary: Shoulder pain during bench press is a common issue faced by many fitness enthusiasts. This article explores the causes, prevention and treatment of shoulder pain during bench press.

1. Proper Form

Incorrect form when performing a bench press can contribute to shoulder pain. To minimize the risk of shoulder pain, it’s important to keep the shoulders retracted and depressed throughout the entire movement. Additionally, ensure that the barbell touches the mid-chest area and not the sternum or above. Another key thing to remember is to keep a strong arch in the lower back and feet planted firmly on the floor.

While performing bench press, be sure to maintain proper elbow positioning. Your elbows should be tucked and not flare out to the side. Flaring out your elbows increases the stress on the anterior deltoid, rotator cuff, and long head of the biceps, hence causing shoulder pain.

If you are bench pressing with a narrow grip, check your wrist alignment. If your wrists are tilted too far backward (extension), it can lead to discomfort. Ensure that your wrists remain straight throughout the exercise.

2. Warm-up

One of the most effective ways to prevent shoulder pain during bench press is to take sufficient time warming up the shoulders before the workout. Try gentle stretching exercises for the shoulders and the upper back. Resistance bands can also be used to activate and warm up the rotator cuff muscles.

Incorporate a few sets of push-ups or light weight bench pressing to ramp up the intensity, After this, perform your first compound lift with lighter weights and gradually increase the weight in each set.

A good warm-up will help to increase circulation and reduce muscle stiffness, leaving you less prone to injury.

3. Start with Low Weights

If you are new to bench pressing or have experienced shoulder pain in the past, it’s good to start with lighter weights. Overloading your bench press with too much weight increases the likelihood of shoulder injuries.

It’s important to gradually progress and only add more weight as your body adapts and is ready for the challenge. Be patient and take your time to increase the weight lifted. Avoid a rushed approach, as it would put unnecessary stress on the shoulders.

Progressive overload (adding weight) combined with sufficient rest and recovery are critical for continued progress and preventing injuries.

4. Shoulder Mobility Exercises

Shoulder mobility exercises can also address and prevent shoulder pain during bench press. Scapular wall slides, face pulls, and band pull-aparts are some examples of exercises that can be incorporated to enhance shoulder mobility.

The exercises work by loosening up tight muscles around the shoulder blade, which would help keep the shoulders properly aligned and place less strain on the rotator cuff muscles and tendons.

Performing these mobility exercises consistently can lead to a reduction in shoulder pain while improving your overall lifting performance.

5. Seek Professional Help

If you’ve experienced severe shoulder pain or discomfort for an extended period, it’s advisable to seek professional help. A Healthcare Professional, such as a physiotherapist or chiropractor can diagnose the issue, recommend treatment, and offer suggestions on how to modify your bench press exercise form to alleviate the pain.

Common treatments for shoulder pain include massage and physical therapy to release tension, improve mobility and stimulate blood flow.

Avoid pushing through shoulder pain as it would only lead to further damage and delay the healing process. Always prioritize injury prevention and work around the issue in a safe way.


If you have experienced pain or discomfort during bench press exercises, the above tips can help prevent and alleviate the pain and reduce the risk of injury. Always remember that proper form, warm-up, gradually increasing weights, shoulder mobility exercises and seeking professional help are critical in keeping your shoulders healthy and enabling your continued progress at bench pressing.

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