Bench press is a great exercise, but for anyone with a shoulder issue, it may not be ideal. How do you know if you should bench? Well for starters, if it hurts to bench, you probably shouldn’t bench. What if it doesn’t hurt during the bench, but it hurts later, you ask? Same answer. I suspect you knew that but were hoping for a different answer. Sorry.
If the bench press is painful for you, you should probably be seeing a manual therapist (athletic therapist, chiro, massage therapist, osteopath, physio…) to help get you to pain free state. But once you reach that point, then what?
Ideally you would switch to other exercises, at least for a while. I want my clients to be able to do at least 10 proper bodyweight pushups (Click here for an article all about pushups) before I will have them bench press, and then I get them to do the Bottom Up Kettle bell (KB) bench press before moving to “normal” bench pressing.
I love it because it requires a lot of stabilizing to be able to do it, which means my clients literally will not be able to do it if they lack strength or stability in their shoulders. If they can’t do the bottom up KB bench press, they are not ready to bench press. Period.
Continue reading The bench press test