Ferrigno Fitness Build Muscle Shoulder Soreness From Bench Press ~ Shoulder Pain From Incline Bench Press

Shoulder Soreness From Bench Press ~ Shoulder Pain From Incline Bench Press

Summary: Shoulder soreness is a common problem that arises from bench press among weightlifters. While it can be a minor discomfort, in some cases, it can lead to severe pain and injury. In this article, we will explore the reasons for shoulder soreness during bench press and ways to prevent it.

1. Poor Form

One of the most common reasons for shoulder soreness from bench press is a poor lifting form. Many individuals tend to arch their back excessively, leading to hyperextension of the shoulder, which can cause stress on the joint. Another common mistake among weightlifters is flaring the elbows outwards while lowering the bar. This position stresses the rotator cuff and leads to inflammation and soreness.

The correct form while performing a bench press is to keep the back slightly arched, shoulders retracted, and elbows tucked close to the body while descending the bar. It is essential to focus on maintaining a stable shoulder joint throughout the lift.

If you experience soreness due to poor form, reducing the weight and working on proper techniques can mitigate the symptoms and prevent further damage.

2. Overtraining/Undertraining

Another reason for shoulder soreness can be overtraining or undertraining. Lifting too frequently without giving enough rest time for the muscles to recover can cause muscle fatigue and lead to soreness. On the other hand, inadequate training may not build up enough strength to support the joints and muscles that require it during bench press.

It is essential to maintain an appropriate workout schedule and adequate rest time in between lifting sessions to prevent overtraining. Additionally, incorporating mobility and strengthening exercises specific to the shoulder joint can help prevent undertraining and build up the required strength in the joint.

Consulting a fitness professional and discussing the individual fitness level and goals can help determine the optimal workout regimen.

3. Muscle Imbalance

Muscle imbalance occurs when some muscles are stronger than others, creating tension in the shoulder joint. Weakness in the upper back muscles and chest muscles while performing bench press can lead to an excessive load on the shoulder, leading to soreness.

It is crucial to include exercises that target the upper back muscles, such as barbell rows and pull-ups, to reduce muscle imbalances. Incorporating proper stretching methods and form during exercises can help improve muscle balance, reducing stress on the shoulder.

If you experience persistent soreness due to muscle imbalances, seeking medical advice can help identify underlying issues and suggest appropriate corrective action.

4. Pre-existing Injuries/Conditions

Individuals with pre-existing shoulder injuries or conditions may be more susceptible to shoulder soreness during bench press. Conditions such as rotator cuff tears, bursitis, or arthritis weaken the shoulder joints and muscles, making them more prone to injury.

Consulting a medical professional before starting any exercise program is recommended, especially if there is a prior history of shoulder injuries or related medical conditions. Seeking appropriate treatment and incorporating rehabilitation exercises can prevent further injury and reduce the risk of soreness.

If you experience severe and persistent pain while lifting due to pre-existing conditions, it is essential to avoid lifting until the medical condition is treated and healed.

5. Improper Warm-Up

Working out without proper warm-up can lead to sudden exertion, causing undue stress on the shoulder joint. Cold muscles and tissues have low blood flow, leading to stiffness and rigidity, which can increase the risk of injury.

Performing a dynamic warm-up, including light cardio, exercises specific to the shoulder joint, and stretching, can help increase blood flow and flexibility, preventing muscle strains and soreness.

Incorporating breathing techniques during warm-up exercises can help relax the muscles and prevent overstraining during the lift. Similarly, cool down exercises after lifting can help reduce inflammation and soreness in the shoulder joint.


While bench press is an effective exercise for building upper body strength, it can lead to shoulder soreness if not performed correctly. Correct form, proper warm-up exercises, adequate rest, and workout schedule, and addressing pre-existing injuries and muscle imbalances can mitigate the risk of shoulder soreness. If you experience persistent soreness or severe pain, seeking medical advice is essential to prevent further injury.

Ultimately, being mindful of individual fitness levels and goals and working with a fitness professional to determine an appropriate training plan can promote muscle balance, build strength, and prevent shoulder soreness during bench press.

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