How do I Increase my Benchpress Without Shoulder Pain
Whether preparing for the NFL Combine or just trying increase bench max, shoulder pain seems to creep in and stop our progress. So how do we continue improving the bench press without tapping out due to pain? The simple answer is to add a few more exercises. It might seem counterintuitive to do more, however it’s not overuse that’s likely your issue, it’s probably poor shoulder geometry due to weak posterior shoulder muscles. Try adding the KB Duo Row (featured in the video below).
Benchpress of Doom
Alright, it’s not all that bad, in fact the bench press is a perfectly fine exercise and is even used to determine the strength of NFL prospects. The problem with the bench is it is so unique and specific. When we look at the muscles involved we find that the pectoralis muscles are at the front of the shoulder and they are one of the main pullers in the benchpress. So if we are trying to increase our benchpress we’ll find our biggest gains in the pec muscles as well as the triceps. What about the rest of the shoulder though?
Think about the guy in the gym that works only benchpress for their pecs. Those muscles probably look great. He’s probably got great looking upper arms and a shelf of a pectoralis major, and if you look even closer you will probably notice that his shoulders are rolled forward to accommodate the pull of those giant muscles. That forward roll is an exaggeration of what we’re focusing on here. The shoulder girdle functions best in a neutral plane with the humorous located directly off the side of the body rather than rolled forward. This unnatural location is the reason for that shoulder pain we discussed.
For Every Push There is a Pull
How do we fix this problem? The answer is found in the extensive list of muscles located on the posterior of the shoulder girdle. Basically we need some pulls to go with that benchpress.
The above video has a great antagonist exercise for the benchpress. This movement focuses on the rear of the shoulder girdle and will work the lats, the spinatus muscles and even the rhomboid muscle which pulls the scapula towards the center of the back. The KB Duo Row is a modified pull-up that uses your own body weight as the resistance. To get the most out of this exercise it is important to squeeze the shoulders together on your back at the end of the movement. This extra element will ensure that the muscles we want to be focusing on are getting engaged to their fullest.
Like any strength training exercise, this movement should be near impossible on your last rep of every set. If you find yourself completing the set with some gas left in the tank then you need to walk your feet forward and increase the weight.
For more shoulder workouts check here: https://kbandstraining.com/kb-powerbands-shoulder-progression-shoulder-workout/ and remember, for every push make sure to include a pull with the same joint. This simple principle will help reduce injuries and keep your body primed for whatever you decide to throw at it.