I keep hurting my shoulder on flat bench presses

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  1. You've got to have a really hard arch, with your shoulder blades drawn together hard. Every time I go for a max my lower back cramps up. Last time it took 10 minutes to clear. I also notice on sub max lifts that tiny differences in form can have a huge impact on the strain on my shoulders. If I concentrate on loading my lats on the way down then pushing my lats out of the bottom it's way easier on the delts. If I don't pay attention to loading/pushing with my lats I find my natural tendency is use my delts more instead and the strain can be tremendous; they're just not big muscles and when I'm pushing heavy weights they object, sometimes strenously. BTW I never worry about what my elbows are doing. I think if your back position is good (arched hard, shoulder blades tight together), and you're loading up your lats, then your elbows have to be in the right place.


  2. Quote Originally Posted by compudog View Post
    You've got to have a really hard arch, with your shoulder blades drawn together hard. Every time I go for a max my lower back cramps up. Last time it took 10 minutes to clear. I also notice on sub max lifts that tiny differences in form can have a huge impact on the strain on my shoulders. If I concentrate on loading my lats on the way down then pushing my lats out of the bottom it's way easier on the delts. If I don't pay attention to loading/pushing with my lats I find my natural tendency is use my delts more instead and the strain can be tremendous; they're just not big muscles and when I'm pushing heavy weights they object, sometimes strenously. BTW I never worry about what my elbows are doing. I think if your back position is good (arched hard, shoulder blades tight together), and you're loading up your lats, then your elbows have to be in the right place.
    Responding to someone about the physical therapy. What insurance is goign to cover physical therapy, because I can't bench right? Also Well I sort of do, do this now, but the bar still ends up 2 inches from my chest, but this feels natural. If I go any lower, I feel the tendon start to pull. I've honestly have never touched my chest when bench pressing.

  3. If your primary care doc refers you for PT, which they likely will, your insurance will usually pay. This is because PT is a lot cheaper than than surgery. Lol
    "I'm not fat, I'm big boned!"
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  4. Quote Originally Posted by trn450 View Post
    If your primary care doc refers you for PT, which they likely will, your insurance will usually pay. This is because PT is a lot cheaper than than surgery. Lol
    My doc in on vacation until next month, in any case as I stated I seem to be able to bench, just not the most correct way(never touch chest). I can bench now with the bar, well atleast I believe I can I did last week but I only did two sets, but I'll see by thursday if I can add on weight and I was able to bench with dumbbells a few days ago and I overhead pressed yesterday. Honestly, if I can get away with benching and goign 2 inches from my chest and still get strength and size without getting hurt, I really don't care. I've never going to compete.

  5. Hey mate, just a bit of food for thought. Dorian Yates swore by incline barbell presses and seated hammer strength presses where your arm comes across your chest! If you can get your hands on the book ' A Portrait of Dorian Yates' pg 102, quote-- ' it is my opinion that incline and decline presses are better chest stimulators than flat bench press, as well as being safer!' ........... 'In comparison to flat bench presses, the incline and decline version afford a greater range of motion'!
    Now I know we can't compare ourselves with the big boys but some things do apply to the rest of us. Dorian changed bodybuilding as much, if not more than any other and his principles were ahead of the time. Only now is science starting to back up his ways. I'm not saying his way is gospel, but his book and his principles are the most applicable to the 'average' gym rat out there out of all the, err, big boys!

    Gotta play with the cards your dealt sometimes eh!?!?

  6. I've been having the same problem.

    It could be due to having weak middle and rear delts. You basically use your front delts with every pushing movements, and it creates an inbalance between the delts.

    Also, yeah, i found that flat bench put wayyy to much emphasis on my shoulders. Even lifting tje bench by 1 notch helps.

    But eitherway, front delts will be taxed a lot! Need to balance and fortify especially rear delts.

  7. *even lifting the bench by one notch will take a lot of pressure off the joints and delts.

  8. Balancing the delts, or knowing if the delts are balanced is sort of challenging, considering movements involving the front delts can take a lot more weight. For example I am using 70 pounds on the incline dumbbell bench press. Using 70 pounds for lateral raises and rear delt rows is unheard of. So how do you truly tell if they're balanced?

  9. Quote Originally Posted by ineedprotein View Post
    *even lifting the bench by one notch will take a lot of pressure off the joints and delts.
    I know what you mean. I feel the same way. The flat bench is rough on the shoulders.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by jiggero View Post
    I know what you mean. I feel the same way. The flat bench is rough on the shoulders.
    I think you need a form check. A strong arch with your shoulder blades pinched together really takes the shoulders out of the equation quite a bit. If you do a flat-backed "bodybuilding" bench press it definitely will tear up your shoulders though.

    Unfortunately, incline tears my shoulders up quite a bit. I'm hoping some time with PT will really help get everything in order so it's not a problem anymore. My chest is disproportionately developed inferiorly -___-
    "I'm not fat, I'm big boned!"

  11. i am suffering from persistent, chronic shoulder problems too, especially the left shoulder but the right one is starting to act up too. narrowing my grip a bit on the bench and taking fish oil and joint formula has helped somewhat, but i think i really need to rest it for an extended period of time, which i hate to do. i probably need surgery on the shoulder, i don't know. i was told it is bursitis.

  12. Quote Originally Posted by DerickVonD
    Balancing the delts, or knowing if the delts are balanced is sort of challenging, considering movements involving the front delts can take a lot more weight. For example I am using 70 pounds on the incline dumbbell bench press. Using 70 pounds for lateral raises and rear delt rows is unheard of. So how do you truly tell if they're balanced?
    By balanced i mean making sure that delts aren't over developed...it means that your training your front delts waaay more than your rear.

    Definitily not mean to balance the same weight. Even exercises using light weights will help with your rotator cuffs. So even 20 pounds...

    Odds are you rotator cuffs arnt balanced, and fortifying and growing ur mid and rear delts will help a lot.

  13. Quote Originally Posted by ineedprotein View Post
    By balanced i mean making sure that delts aren't over developed...it means that your training your front delts waaay more than your rear.

    Definitily not mean to balance the same weight. Even exercises using light weights will help with your rotator cuffs. So even 20 pounds...

    Odds are you rotator cuffs arnt balanced, and fortifying and growing ur mid and rear delts will help a lot.
    I know what you mean, I just meant telling if your delts are balanced can be difficult.

  14. Okay the problem is still there, but I foundout I can't maintain an arch on the flat bench. If I try doing the bench incline, I can only bring the bar just before my arms are 90 degrees, but I naturally have an arch with it inclined, than with the bench flat. I'm having an ex power lifter buddy or so he claims, dude is big so, anyway he's coming over to look at my form monday. Hopefully he can help. When I add weight to the flat bench, I can't maintain my arch.

  15. My left shoulder is all sorts of snapped up. I have been doing DB press instead of bars for about 2 weeks now and it has seemed to help. I had a friend tell me yesterday when we were doing a shoulder and back workout that my rear delta were non-existent compared to my fronts.
    Maybe that's why my bench has been sucking lately, my delts are overpowering my pecs. It's all about form I guess

  16. i think i might experiment with just doing incline and decline presses for awhile and see if it helps my shoulder.

  17. Is there such a thing as tucking the elbows too much or tucking them wrong? My friend was looking at me benching and he said, that when I tuck my elbows in I tend to try and sort of pull my elbows towards my body, like instead of flaring my elbows out, I sort of pull them in towards my torso. Whatever is going on I definitely still feel in in my shoulders. So I'm obviously tucking wrong and I don't know how to fix this.

  18. Quote Originally Posted by DerickVonD View Post
    Is there such a thing as tucking the elbows too much or tucking them wrong? My friend was looking at me benching and he said, that when I tuck my elbows in I tend to try and sort of pull my elbows towards my body, like instead of flaring my elbows out, I sort of pull them in towards my torso. Whatever is going on I definitely still feel in in my shoulders. So I'm obviously tucking wrong and I don't know how to fix this.
    Yes, you can overtuck.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys


  19. Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    Yes, you can overtuck.
    How would I correct this, or would I have to have someone here to couch me?

  20. Quote Originally Posted by DerickVonD View Post
    How would I correct this, or would I have to have someone here to couch me?
    The latter.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys


  21. Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    The latter.
    One last question. If it doesn't hurt when I do any kind of overhead press movement and my form is good, is it more likely that I have a muscular imbalance or that I'm just plain benching wrong, or could you not tell since the movements are different?

  22. Quote Originally Posted by DerickVonD View Post
    One last question. If it doesn't hurt when I do any kind of overhead press movement and my form is good, is it more likely that I have a muscular imbalance or that I'm just plain benching wrong, or could you not tell since the movements are different?
    It's more likely bad benching.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys


  23. Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    It's more likely bad benching.
    That's what I was actually hoping to hear, thanks for the help.

  24. Quote Originally Posted by DerickVonD View Post
    That's what I was actually hoping to hear, thanks for the help.
    No problem.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys

  25. healing the injury


    Hey there,

    So I am new to this site but not to fitness. There are a lot of good replies on here about form and how to adapt so you can continue lifting. However, you should conisdered what is injured. This sounds to be your rotator cuff =(. You should try working with some resistance bands to help stengthen your RC. I had injured myself before and the symptoms seem the same as what happened to me. I used resistance bands and some specific stretches to help heal and strengthen. One method I found extremely helpful was laying flat on your stomach with you arms out in front of you, lift the arm of the injured shoulder 4-6 off the ground with your thumb pointing down. Then slowly bring it back as if you were tucking your elbows.


    Anyone with feed back?

  26. Quote Originally Posted by Jmacconnach View Post
    Hey there,

    So I am new to this site but not to fitness. There are a lot of good replies on here about form and how to adapt so you can continue lifting. However, you should conisdered what is injured. This sounds to be your rotator cuff =(. You should try working with some resistance bands to help stengthen your RC. I had injured myself before and the symptoms seem the same as what happened to me. I used resistance bands and some specific stretches to help heal and strengthen. One method I found extremely helpful was laying flat on your stomach with you arms out in front of you, lift the arm of the injured shoulder 4-6 off the ground with your thumb pointing down. Then slowly bring it back as if you were tucking your elbows.


    Anyone with feed back?
    I dislocated my shoulder and found my healing was greatly improved by incorporating band work in focusing on the rotator cuff. I had 6 different exercises I did daily for 2 sets of 20 reps. I think most people could actually benefit from these exercises.
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  27. Quote Originally Posted by nicksox15 View Post

    I dislocated my shoulder and found my healing was greatly improved by incorporating band work in focusing on the rotator cuff. I had 6 different exercises I did daily for 2 sets of 20 reps. I think most people could actually benefit from these exercises.
    Post videolinks to those movements?
    Always willing to learn :D

  28. I can post some pics from my pt sheet here soon.
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  30. There's one more where you lay flat on your stomach on a bench. Then with 5's lift with you're arms straight and hold for 5 secs
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  31. Is there something I can do right now at home with light dumbbells(10 lbs). I mean I can buy some resistance bands, but I won't have money until next week. I know I can do scaptions to help, but I wasn't sure if I do start doing scaptions, if I should still do lateral raises.

  32. I would definitely do lateral raises with those a long as there's no pain associated with it.
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  33. Quote Originally Posted by nicksox15 View Post
    I would definitely do lateral raises with those a long as there's no pain associated with it.
    There isn't, as long as I do the lateral raises slightly in front and not directly by my sides and when I do the, I can't really do that "pour" motion at the top and I can't do them with straight arms.

  34. sure, put a towel under your armpit and hold the dumbbell at mid-chest. extend your arm out laterally while keeping the towel tucked under your armpit. good rotator cuff exercise i do sometimes. i do it with bands, but a light dumbbell would work too.

  35. Can sleeping on your side, cause an imbalance, since the shoulders are in a forward position all night? When I wake up from sleeping on my side sometimes my shoulder hurts. I'd sleep on my back, but when I do that my jaw drops and I get sleep apnea.

  36. sleeping on my side seems to aggravate my shoulders from time to time too, but i usually sleep on my back so it's not a frequent issue.

  37. Quote Originally Posted by bossman523 View Post
    sleeping on my side seems to aggravate my shoulders from time to time too, but i usually sleep on my back so it's not a frequent issue.
    My jaw drops down causing sleep apnea if I lay on my back. I jsut ordered a chinstrap I help it helps.

  38. Quote Originally Posted by DerickVonD View Post
    Can sleeping on your side, cause an imbalance, since the shoulders are in a forward position all night? When I wake up from sleeping on my side sometimes my shoulder hurts. I'd sleep on my back, but when I do that my jaw drops and I get sleep apnea.
    Hey just saw this, I had a similar injury and sleeping on my side did not help at all, woke up stiff and sore did you try any of the stretching I mentioned earlier?

  39. Quote Originally Posted by Jmacconnach View Post
    Hey just saw this, I had a similar injury and sleeping on my side did not help at all, woke up stiff and sore did you try any of the stretching I mentioned earlier?
    Yeah sadly, I don't know if I can sleep on my back, because I'm prone to sleep apnea. So I need to loose weight maybe, but then idk how I'm going to bulk.

  40. Well as mentality frustrating as it is, you have to let it heal man. I'd hate for you to damage it to the extent you need any type of surgery! Keep stretching and incorporating resistance bands. Might need 2-3 weeks off from any bench, flat,incline/decline alike. Another thing for stretching you can try is raise your arm in an L shape and apply it again a door frame at different angles to get a good stretch. Just make sure to keep your core tight and do not twist into it
  

  
 

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