I am new to fitness and weight lifting. I was doing bench press and asked my(2) partners to load 12.5 kg each side. One of the loaded 12.5 kg right side and other didn't hear properly and loaded 15 kg on the left side.

This created an uneven bench press and no one noticed that it was uneven. I tried lifting and felt sharp pain right side of my abs and my groin. I only noticed it and corrected the weights after doing 2 reps.

I am worried and scared. Is it possible that it can lead to an internal injury?

  • Pains and injuries are to be consulted with a doctor. We can't tell you what happened based on text alone. Sounds like you pulled a muscle, but it would be risky of us to tell you what to do going forward. If the pain lingers, get it checked out.
    – Alec
    Commented May 19, 2022 at 19:10
  • Voting to reopen because the question "Is this exercise likely to cause injury?" is not asking for medical advice. If need be, the unnecessary information about the poster's pain experience can be edited out. Commented May 19, 2022 at 20:14
  • @DavidScarlett - Alright, good point.
    – Alec
    Commented May 19, 2022 at 21:15

1 Answer 1


Given that the one arm dumbbell bench press is a reasonably common exercise that puts all of the load on one arm and yet doesn't seem to have any elevated risk associated with it, it seems extremely unlikely that accidentally bench pressing with an unevenly loaded bar would be any more likely to cause injury than a correctly loaded barbell bench press.

One arm dumbbell bench press

Furthermore, there just really isn't any plausible mechanism through which an unevenly loaded bar could cause injury, unless it was so unevenly loaded that this caused you to drop it and it landed on someone. (This is more likely in a squat, where the bar is supported closer to the middle.) If you had 15kg on the left side and 12.5kg on the right, the only expected consequence of that is that your left arm and shoulder will tire out as quickly as they would if you had 15kg on both sides, while your right arm and shoulder will not fatigue as quickly. So with 15kg on one side and 12.5kg on the other, you would expect to be able to do as many reps as if you had 15kg on both sides.

  • 1
    I think the other consequence of an uneven barbell, is you're not expecting it. Every time I've misloaded, I'm never expecting the torque and I definitely can not do as many reps.
    – C. Lange
    Commented May 20, 2022 at 13:00
  • Thanks. That's a very fair point. Commented May 20, 2022 at 21:36

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