Pro Tips for Reducing Shoulder Pain During Bench Press

Pro Tips for Reducing Shoulder Pain During Bench Press

Pro Tips for Reducing Shoulder Pain During Bench Press


Bench press is one of the most popular exercises for building upper body strength. However, it can also cause shoulder pain if done improperly. Shoulder pain can impact your bench press technique and limit your progress. Fortunately, with the right approach and proper form, you can reduce shoulder pain during bench press and lift more weight safely.

In this blog post, we will share pro tips for reducing shoulder pain during bench press. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced lifter, you will learn valuable insights to improve your performance and protect your shoulder joints. So, let's dive in!


Tip #1: Warm-Up Properly

One of the biggest mistakes people make before performing bench press is not warming up properly. This can lead to tight muscles and joint stiffness, which can increase the risk of shoulder pain. It is essential to perform a dynamic warm-up and shoulder mobility exercises before your bench press session. This will help increase blood flow to the muscles, loosen up the joints, and reduce the risk of injury. Here are some warm-up exercises you can try:

  • Arm circles
    Stand tall with your arms hanging down by your sides. Slowly lift your arms, making circles forward and backward, for 10 to 20 reps.
  • Shoulder rotations
    Stand tall with your arms extended to the sides, parallel to the floor. Slowly rotate your arms clockwise and counterclockwise for 10 to 20 reps.
  • Wall Angels
    Stand with your back against the wall, with your arms bent at 90-degree angles, and your elbows against the wall. Slowly move your arms up and down, without losing contact with the wall, for 10 to 20 reps.

Tip #2: Use Proper Technique

Using proper technique can prevent shoulder pain during bench press. One of the common mistakes people make is flaring their elbows outwards. This can place excessive stress on your shoulder joint and lead to pain. Instead, tuck your elbows close to your ribs and keep them at a 45-degree angle. This will engage your triceps and chest muscles, reduce stress on your shoulders, and prevent injury.

Another important technique to master is maintaining a neutral spine position. Avoid arching your back or lifting your hips off the bench, as this can cause spinal compression and shoulder pain. Keep your feet flat on the ground, and your lower back and glutes in contact with the bench throughout the lift.

Tip #3: Strengthen Your Rotator Cuff

Your rotator cuff muscles stabilize your shoulder joint and help you perform bench press safely and effectively. Strengthening your rotator cuff muscles can prevent shoulder pain and improve your bench press performance. Here are some exercises you can do to strengthen your rotator cuffs:

  • External rotation
    Hold a light dumbbell in your left hand, and bend your arm at 90 degrees. Keeping your elbow at your side, rotate your forearm so that your hand moves away from your body. Do 10 to 15 reps and repeat on the other side.
  • Scaption
    Stand with your arms at your sides, and your thumbs pointing forward. Keeping your arms straight, slowly raise your arms to the height of your shoulders, forming a V-shape. Do 10 to 15 reps.

Tip #4: Take Adequate Rest

Rest is essential for muscle recovery and growth. Overtraining can cause muscle fatigue, joint pain, and decrease overall performance. Make sure to take adequate rest between bench press sessions. This will allow your muscles to recover and adapt to the stress, leading to muscular growth and improved strength.

Tip #5: Seek Professional Help

If you are experiencing persistent shoulder pain during bench press, it may be time to seek professional help. A physical therapist can diagnose and treat your shoulder pain, and provide you with a customized rehabilitation plan. They can also help you improve your bench press technique, prevent future injury, and enhance your overall performance. If you are looking for a Physical therapist in Winter Springs, FL, B Physical Therapy can help. We offer comprehensive physical therapy services to address your shoulder pain and help you achieve your fitness goals.



Shoulder pain during bench press is a common issue that can hamper your gains and limit your progress. However, with the right approach and proper form, you can reduce shoulder pain and lift more weight safely. Remember to warm up properly, use proper technique, strengthen your rotator cuff muscles, take adequate rest, and seek professional help if needed. By following these pro tips, you can enhance your bench press performance, protect your shoulder joints, and achieve your fitness goals safely and effectively.

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