Past shoulder injury and benching to 90 degrees inclined *includes form check*

Shiznown

Shiznown

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I've had shoulder injuries on and off for years and I'm in my 30s now. I was doing incline bench with the pins set on the holes lower than how they are set in the video, so closer to 45 degrees, than 90. Well I've started to get pain in my shoulders again, so I raised the pins and now the pain is pretty much gone. I wanted you guys to look at my form and see if I am indeed going to 90 and not higher and ask about the likelihood of muscle growth, even from not going that low. I want to emphasize, I cannot touch my chest before anyone brings that up. In fact, I USED to be able to go lower and it wasn't until I listened to other people that I started going to my chest and messed my shoulders up. I cannot even bench flat now, even to just 90 degrees. I just ordered bands to start doing face pulls.
 

Norse12

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I'm very curious to learn too. I had a partial rotator cuff tear some 4 months ago, did not do repair surgery, but have done a lot of physiotherapy. I bench like you, slightly deeper, a bit more than a hands width above my chest on flat bench. My weight is about 70% of what I pressed before the tear. I can feel there's a point where pain in my shoulder suddenly builds up if I go any deeper. I'm curious to whether this kind of half-benching is useful for muscle growth, or if I should just ditch benching and think of something completely different.
 

bigdadybry

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Sorry, I am not able to adequately evaluate your form. Beyond my skillset.

Thought I would share my experience in the event it can help you.
I have virtually eliminated my shoulder issues by moving to a closer grip on the bench (hands just outside pecs) and squatting with my arms essentially straight out near the plates instead of holding the bar in the traditional way. I almost purchased the same bar you have as I was growing frustrated. After making these changes for about 6 months, I was able to slowly extend my grip wider to hit a 90 degree angle at my chest. I also added body weight hangs.
 
jswain34

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So you are basically doing what is referred to in PL circles as a “pin press” or, in your case, an incline pin press. Traditionally this exercise is thought to be better used with “strength rep ranges” (eg. 1-5).

A variation that would allow you to have more TUT to stimulate hypertrophy would be a paused or unpaused “spoto press” where you stop the ROM before the point that gives you trouble then perform the concentric.

You could also look into the Elitefts black “shoulder saver” product but initially it appears that it wouldn’t fit on your specialty bar you have there.

You should absolutely be doing facepulls with a full external rotation. My favorite way of doing them is to loop a band through an object at the bands mid point to form 2 loops (one with each side of the band). Then grab the band with a pronated grip, driving your elbows out to the side perpendicular to your torso while simultaneously externally rotating the arm. If you watch football, you finish in a “touchdown” signal.
 

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