Bench Press and Shoulder Pain

         You have seen this at all gyms and maybe have experienced it yourself: The person using a band or moving a small dumbbell in many weird ways to warm up the shoulder with the look of sheer agony from the pain in the shoulder. Some get unneeded surgery. There is a very easy solution to solve this pain that might be surprising.

The key to solving shoulder pain begins with form, and the number one thing to fix is to bring your elbows in as you bench press. This is an old trick that keeps your bench press and shoulder in top form. As I look at pictures online of bench presses, almost all of the photos were of clients trying to move the weights with their elbows parallel to the bar. The very few bench pressers with good technique were powerlifters.

Many are reluctant to change their technique, and may consider it nonsense in order to keep a "macho" high weight on the bar. In order to master this technique, and it may feel foreign to you at first, is to start with lower weights to dial in technique.

New gym convo: (How much you bench, bro? Not as much at the moment brah, I'm learning good technique!)

In time, bringing your elbows in will create much more power and strength and activate more chest fiber in the movement, which in turn puts your shoulders at lower risk of injury. If you walked up to a wall and pushed against it as hard as you can with elbows out like most bench pressers do in the bench press postition you will feel force in your direct line of pressure - the shoulder socket. Now, if you drop your elbows, bring them tighter to your sides and press against the wall you are much stronger and have a more balanced feeling in your chest. Take away from this blog:  get your elbows in and save on ice packs. Then, watch your max weight climb! 

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