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I have recently been pushing my bench weight to the point where I'm just barely able to push the bar up on my last rep of the set. I've recently noticed that I've been getting a sharp shoulder pain in the front deltoid when I bring the weight down. I've always been really good with my form by having the right grip, little to know arch in my back, and keeping the bar and path constant with every rep. The pain only starts when I'm doing my last few reps on a heavy set. The pain gets even more exacerbated when I go from bench to dumbbell chest press. Also, I warm up before benching by doing 10 lateral raises with a light weight, a few push ups, and 10 pull ups.

Please let me know what I can do to alleviate the pain.

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  • A form-check might be more beneficial to look at your bench-press form. Otherwise we're just speculating.
    – C. Lange
    Aug 17 at 22:47
  • Are your arms long? What is the angle between your body and your upper arm when benching roughly?
    – Andy
    Aug 18 at 13:23
  • I'm five ten but I do have long arms and each rep I do touches my chest.
    – Daniel
    Aug 18 at 20:29
  • @Daniel: I also have long arms and benchpress tends to bother my shoulders. I do dips or weighted push ups instead. Alternatively you could try benchpress with something on your chest like some pieces of wood. I also think a narrow grip is better.
    – Andy
    Aug 19 at 7:03
  • "little to no arch in my back" - this is worse for your shoulders. A properly executed arch on the bench press puts the whole shoulder girdle into a more favorable position to handle loads, and makes it easier to retract the scapulae to immobilize the joints and keep them from coming out of alignment during the lift. Aug 19 at 10:00
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You should spend a few weeks doing dumbbell floor press and a light neutral grip incline dumbbell press.

As well as this your bicep, chest, tricep and forearm are likely tight - the pec stretch where you have your forearm against the wall at head-height will be useful 3 times every day, 60-90 secs per side. Most of these are what I mean. And, you should stretch out your lats.

As well, you should try to train your rear-delts and rhomboids - so that you arm sits in the shoulder socket perfectly. This will allow the back, rear-delt, trap and chest to take a lot of the load you are currently taking with your shoulder. (Supermans and lightweight facepulls are good, but the trap-3 raise is the best).

Instead of warming up your shoulders and back - warm up your core and look for exercises that will work your serratus (slow plate raises in front with a focus on staying upright will work - but check google for the ones that do both core and serratus - they are good).

I would not bench press for a few weeks (2-3) while you get the floor press and slow neutral grip working painlessly. A few weeks of rehab will ensure several months of progress.

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  • I will argue that he should focus on his RC as those are the stabilisers of the GH joint
    – Jun
    Sep 18 at 18:40
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This exact thing happened to me.... STOP!

It is very likely a rotator cuff injury and about to make the switch from mild to worse. Stop exercising for a week(yes, all exercises) because your rotator cuff can be agitated by mostly anything other than rehab and machine exercises, even squats can hurt it.

Do 3-6 weeks of rehab with iso shoulder rotation exercises. After the first couple weeks switch from iso to dynamic and mobility.

Next, start working on your external rotation and back strength. Stretch your PECS and upper traps, and build your rhomboids, middle and low traps, rear deltoids, thoracic rotation, and put a pause on your anterior body. Slowly get back into benching by doing reverse grip bench presses or dumbbell presses with light weight, and slowly add more each week till your back to usual.

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  • I think “stop all exercises” may be too strong a sentence. That may be the last thing you want to do during an injury! Find out the root cause of the pain and address it. Once inflammation subsides, I feel that it is important to start moving that joint and muscle. Don’t let the scar tissues build up
    – Jun
    Sep 18 at 18:44
  • I'm commenting based on my actual physical therapy. If you read the second paragraph it states to do shoulder iso exercises to avoid scar tissue and impinged shoulders. The first week(or more depending on actual or plan) you ice and rest
    – Ace Cabbie
    Oct 22 at 21:04

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