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How to Manage Bench Press Shoulder Pain

bench press

Have you been hitting the gym lately and experiencing pains in your shoulder? Well, you are not alone in this, as a lot of people (men and women) are in the same situation. What you are doing (bench press) is of course a very good exercise, however, pumping the barbell week in week out may cause some sort of damage or strain to your ligaments and tendons, thus causing pains in your joints.

Well, with this article, that is about to be changed, as I will provide you with the information you are looking for (from experts) on the shoulder pain you are experiencing as a result of bench press. The awesome tips that we shall discuss here will help you overcome shoulder pains now and in future.

Warm up

An aspect that is often overlooked during workout sessions is the warm up. It ensures to a great extent a safe workout by reducing the risk of injury, as well as improving your generally the quality of your workout. A warm up before doing bench press can help ease pain in your shoulder, as it increases your temperature, which in turn secretes synovial fluid which lubricates your joint, thus keeping your muscles and central nervous system awake.

Avoid 90 degree angle elbow balance
bench press

This is one of the major cause of pain shoulders while bench pressing. While doing your bench press, avoid pushing the barbell while your elbows are in a 90 degree angles; as this increases the tension on your shoulders. In order to avoid pain in your shoulder, strike a healthy pose by flaring your elbows in an angle of around 75 degrees.

Always retract the scapula
what is scapula

Scapula is also known as the shoulder bone, shoulder or wing bone; it connects the upper arm bone with the collar bone. Always ensure to retract your scapula each time you bench press in order to avoid injuries and stabilize your shoulder joint.

Include  ‘pull’ exercises in your workout routine

You should not do ‘push’ exercises only, also do ‘pull’ exercise. It has been discovered that so many people who visit the gym spend the greatest part of their time on ‘push’ exercise, while ignoring the ‘pull’ exercise – t is should not be so. According to fitness expert, Sean Nalewanyj, both exercises (push and pull) should be done simultaneously, as they complement the other.

Focusing on ‘push’ exercise only brings about muscle imbalances which can lead to pains in the shoulder. It is therefore advised by Sean Nalewanyj that one should perform at least the same amount of volume in ‘pulling’ exercises as you do in ‘pushing’ exercises.

Lists of pulling exercises include deadlift, step ups with band, DB pullover, reverse fly, dumbbell rows, barbell bicep curves and much more.


Are you a beginner, or a serious weight lifter? Well, it doesn’t matter which category you belong to, as injury is something we do not want. Shoulder pain however, is a common thing experienced by weight lifters.

The right knowledge and approach however will reduce and get rid of whatever pains are being experienced. The above tips will help you overcome shoulder pain if followed strictly.


It is advisable you seek advice from professional trainers.

Images from:, & sciencepicture

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