The Infamous Bench Press
If you’ve spent any length of time in a gym, you’re all too familiar with the bench press. If you’re a guy that went through high school, then you definitely are familiar with the bench press. While the bench press often has a reputation for just being a ‘bro’ or a bodybuilder exercise, there are still a ton of benefits to keeping this movement in your routine in some degree regardless of your goals.
The biggest problem we see that limits regular performance of this movement is shoulder pain with bench pressing. Due to the mobility requirements, and the lack of mobility/poor technique commonly associated with this movement, many people we have worked with report front of the shoulder pain that is worse with this movement.
Does this make the bench press a bad movement? Not at all. As mentioned above, this is a highly effective movement to have in your routine when programmed and performed correctly.
Steps to a Great Bench Press:
First you want to make sure you have the mobility needed to perform this movement. If you are missing mobility, you are going to compensate during the movement. Check out this in-depth post from The Barbell Physio on Bench Press Mobility.
If your mobility is great, you still need great technique during the movement to perform correctly. To read more about some of the finer coaching points, check out Juggernaut’s post on Great Bench Press Technique.
Being Properly Warmed Up
You can have all the mobility and technique down, but if you’re not properly warming your body up for this movement, you’re joints aren’t going to be too happy with you. A warmup should be much more than simply throwing weight on the bar and getting right into it. If you are looking for other warmup ideas, make sure to download our Free Warmup and Mobility Overhaul.
Try the following 4 exercises to warmup your bench press the right way. Run through each of these movements 10 times and repeat 2 times through before getting into your working sets.
Focus on keeping your elbows as straight as you can for this movement, all the motion should come from the shoulder blades.
Pushup Plank with Rotation
Think about reaching your top hand as high towards the ceiling as you can while also pushing the ground away from you with your bottom hand.
Shoulder Extension Bridge
Pull those shoulder blades back as you push your hips into the air. Make sure you’re working up to full height for this movement. Spreading your hands further apart will make it easier and bringing them closer together will make it more challenging.
Pull those shoulder blades back each time to reinforce a good bench press position. If you’re shoulders are rounding forward you’re going too far
If you’re shoulder pain just isn’t going away and you need some help getting things under control, fill out our contact form to speak with one of our Docs on the next best step for you.
We have in person evaluations and treatment for those that are local, and we do custom programming for those that are remote. Click the contact form here to schedule a free phone call today.