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William Huh 07-12-2007 09:23 PM

For the past ~2 years, everytime I do moderate to heavy bench pressing, I get this semi-sharp pain in my right shoulder. Not sure why, but I'm assuming it's from an imbalance in the way I spread out the weight between my left/right sides because my chest is slightly more developed on my left than my right. I'm also slightly stronger on the bench on my left side, but that may also be from the injury keeping me from lifting to my full potential. Anyhow, I'm wondering if anyone else has a similar problem and/or any solutions to it? I don't have any problems with dumbbells no matter how heavy I go incline/flat. The problem only occurs when I'm doing flat barbell bench presses.

Jim Gotti 07-13-2007 03:31 AM

I'm just coming off of shoulder rehab for an inpingement / labrum tear. My shoulder is about 95%, only in certain very slight positions (internal rotation) do I still get a sharp pain and I'm thinking you may be suffering from the same thing.

With dumbbells your shoulder is able to move freely, howeever slightly that may be. With the barbell, it's held into position.

I would definitely get it checked out. I had no idea that my shoulder was as bad as it was and phys therapy more or less cleared up all my range of motion issues and increased my ab/adduction strength ten fold.

imho, the strength difference between the two arms isn't the issue.

Connie Morreale 07-13-2007 12:21 PM

do not do not do not lift overhead or bench again until you get diagnosed.
if you reach to your back pocket for your wallet fo you feel anything? does sleeping on the affected side ever feel off? how about lateral arm raises while loaded? if these things dont bother you, you may get off with just a few weeks laying low. i wish i had listened to that little voice in my head when things were at the stage you described. i havent done a dip or bench press since mothers day. it looks like i have another month or two to go before i can slowly add pushing/pressing moves back in.
when you are symptom free dont bench your elbows lower than your rib cage.
dont test your pain! get it checked out!

Elliot Royce 07-15-2007 06:33 PM


I guess my question would be, why continue to do barbell bench presses when it hurts you? If this were a specific movement required in your sport, it might be worth it but it seems you can do the dumbbell version (and presumably dips, etc.) without pain. I'm guessing you're probably under 30. As you get older, you learn to accommodate more. If your body doesn't want you to do that right now and there are other equal or better exercises, why worry?

William Huh 07-15-2007 08:26 PM

Connie: yeah, none of those things bother me really so I think I shouldn't be too bad. Thanks for your response!

Elliot: I posted this I think the day of or day after the WOD was max bench presses. I don't do any barbell benching at all anymore. Thanks for your response too!

Wayne Nelson 07-15-2007 10:54 PM

You might want to consider scapular and rotator cuff stabilization exercises. You can find some ideas under some of my previous posts.

Jason Naubur 07-16-2007 08:14 AM

Second what Wayne said. I had lots of irritation / pain a while ago in my shoulder, but mostly when doing bench press (pre-crossfit). My physio had me do many exercises to strengthen the stabilizers. After a few months I could really notice the difference.

I would not keep my shoulder active and tight during the press, and it would cause some stuff to rub together (can't recall what exactly anymore). It wasn't for want of trying, I just didn't have the strength / endurance in those small muscles.


Blair Robert Lowe 07-17-2007 01:17 AM

Yesterday while I was teaching my friend to bench I decided to play towards finding out what I could bench. I was still a bit sore from the workout they day before ( 1st day on that tends to be hell as saturdays are for me ).

Even at BW, bench hurt quite a bit. I really wanted to go for 200+, but keeping my shoulder healthy is far more important as it will allow me to work ( lots of spotting ) and be active in sports.

Overhead stuff didn't hurt at all ( push press or Oly squat ).

Time to go back to DB bench which I always enjoyed more anyways. Far more useful than BB anyways.

Bench press is one of those things like leg press that I look at as a fun ego lift. Both have their function ( some ) but there are mo' bettah alternatives.

William Huh 07-20-2007 08:57 PM

Are you guys referring to the "trigger point" exercises for the scap? That's about all I could find with the search function...

Wayne Nelson 07-20-2007 10:12 PM

Somewhere I have posted exercises as an attachment and discussed them in other posts. You might do a CF search for those. Try terms like "scapula" and "stabilization".

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