I love to bench press.
It’s one of my favorite lifts but on occasion, I experience shoulder pain.
I have some tips for you from my ‘Mr Fix It’ guy, Rick Kaselj. In this video, he explains how to avoid shoulder pain when bench pressing.
First of all, when you unrack the bar, create a stable platform by activating the scapula muscles. You don’t need to pull the scapula down and back, but you should create tension in those scapular muscles to decrease stress and strain on rotator cuff muscles.
Secondly, watch the elbow position. The rotator cuff muscles will take the brunt of all the work unless you activate the larger muscles in the back (the lats) to help stabilize. By drawing the elbows downward toward the waist, you can activate the lats and decrease rotator cuff tension.
Keeping the elbows high, or in line with the bar increases rotator cuff activation so really pay attention and ensure that the elbows are NOT parallel with the bar.
Use these tips to keep your shoulders healthy.
If you do have some shoulder pain, Rick and Mike Westerdal have a great shoulder program that I’ve referred to in the past. You’ve heard me rant about Rick’s reputation for helping me with my injuries. The cool thing about this program and all of Rick’s programs is that they help me do a diagnosis and rehab exercises on my own, as well as it teaches me preventive measures to avoid pain in the future.
I’m not discounting the need for doctor’s advice or physio, I just know that my time is valuable and if I can do what a physical therapist is going to do at a fraction of the time and cost, it’s a good thing. If I try some of Rick’s measures and I get no pain relief, then I know I have a more serious issue that needs to be dealt with by a medical professional.
If you’re interested in looking at more posts on Rick and the shoulder, check them out here and here.
If you need at home help with your shoulder pain, you need to look at what Rick has for you here.