Bench pressing is a compound weightlifting movement that exercises your arm, chest, and your shoulder muscles. This is a one of the most popular weightlifting exercises and can be found in practically any gym. Although its widespread popularity, bench pressing is one of the exercises that is most likely to cause a injury, potentially keeping you out of the gym for long periods of time. During bench pressing, there are three muscles which can fatigue and tighten, thus leading to discomfort. Shoulder pain is one of the typical side effects of doing this exercise, and can indicate an injury such as a muscle strain.
What Causes Shoulder Pain while Bench Pressing?
Pain from bench pressing can be caused by numerous factors, the two most important being, insufficient shoulder strength, and shoulder instability problems. This exercise can also cause shoulder pain because of the bench itself. Most benches restrict the movement of the shoulder blades thus artificially exaggerating the movement of the main shoulder joint. Although there are benches which are quite narrow, the individual will still find it hard since they will then have a higher risk of falling off sideways during the exercise.
The shoulder pain is also most likely due to the strain to the rotator cuff region. The rotator cuff comprises of four muscles which connect to the shoulder joint via tendons. When a person experiences pain during bench pressing, his or her tendons get burdened with more pressure than it is able to handle, or one of the tendons becomes frayed as it makes contact with the humerus bone of the upper arm.
How To Avoid Bench Press Shoulder Pain
As mentioned above, the rotator cuff is a group of four muscles which are extremely prone to injury and they are responsible for keeping the shoulder joint stable. These four muscles are:
* Teres minor
The most commonly injured rotator cuff muscle during a bench press exercise is the infraspinatus. In order to avoid injuring this muscle, there are two distinct movements that can successfully strengthen it which are: rowing motions and external rotation.
To prevent this type of shoulder pain, it is best not to skip any of your back exercises. You must also do regular rotation exercises and make it a part of your weight lifting workout regime.
If you start to suffer shoulder pain when using the bench press, you must remember to stop performing the bench press immediately. It will only lead to further complications if you aggravate your injury. It is also essential to see a doctor or a physiotherapist for a professional diagnosis. The physiotherapist can diagnose your condition and he or she can suggest a rehabilitation plan if needed. It is best to trust a professional since they are qualified to fix your shoulder injury. Self-medicating and self-diagnosis will only lead to long-term, chronic and acute shoulder pain which will restrict your movements and not just a bench press.