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My muscles are tight from working at the computer. If I shrug my shoulders back, there are muscles popping around in the back. If I move my arms up and back, my sternum area pops. Things are very tight.

I'd like to begin weight lifting, but I'm worried about doing more harm than good. Specifically with the bench press - my chest is already very tight - should I just avoid that exercise and go with the others, while stretching? I stretch occasionally but I'm at the computer so much that it simply doesn't help.

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My suggestion is based purely from my experience. I used to be a climber. Had a small injury and then decided to study and try out the Starting Strength program by M. Rippetoe and L. Kilgore to strengthen my body. From what I can tell I gained a lot mobility in my hips due to squating. It helped for climbing but on the other hand I gained muscle mass which can be sort of a drawback for climbers. I then abandoned climbing and started power lifting.

My advice to you would be start training with the olympic bar only, perfect the form, maybe add some weight to the bar in the process and always control your ego. If you have really bad mobility and poor range of motion in your joints check youtube channels of Dr. Quinn Henoch, Kelly Starrett, Aleksey Torokhtiy (OLY weightlifter) etc. These guys have some great tips and fun exercises on how to improve mobility. Enjoy the suffer.

  • Yep. Get starting strength v3, get strong/fit. – Eric Dec 30 '17 at 4:22
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If that are only your worries, then go do. No one starts with really high weights. Be sure to start with personal trainer, and work on that tightness.

Bench press is kind of exercise that I would not start with. Typically, people start with core exercises, all that stabilization stuff. Back should go first - that way your shoulders will go back - which is proper position. If you are (as me) working with computer, or driving a car a lot - shoulders tends to move forward, and that is first step to injury. Bench press is great next step.

Do stretching, or mobilization - for shoulders, and upper-back - I'm using lacrosse ball. You need to stretch pectoralis, a specially minor. That would support moving shoulders back.

... or better go to the gym, and find trainer - and treat this post as another source of information. January is not a perfect time since everyone starts, on the other hand... there is no reason to wait. Just try to do it for longer then the others. Fingers crossed.

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    I was planning on doing stronglifts 5x5 (what I've done in the past) and just leaving bench-press out – horse hair Dec 29 '17 at 18:38
  • I'm doing squats, dead lifts on two trainings during a week. Plus stretching. So let's say I'm starting DL on Monday, next 2-3 days I have to rest / or rather do something else, so Thursday, I can do squats, ten if I stretch on Sunday - next Monday wouldn't be so impressive... – Michał Zaborowski Dec 29 '17 at 22:47
  • Good choice on 5x5 – Eric Dec 30 '17 at 4:20
  • @horsehair Yes, I should write that - 5x5 is great plan, a specially if you did that before, and know what to expect! – Michał Zaborowski Dec 30 '17 at 11:26

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