Whether working in a physiotherapy clinic, or simply working out in the gym, a lot of people will give me an insight into their symptoms of shoulder pain throughout pressing movements. The fact that people get pain when performing some of their favourite movements such as their bench press and shoulder press is very….dePRESSING. If that pun hasn’t infuriated you to the point of exiting this blog congratulations - you have earnt the right to reduce your shoulder pain!
There are two common themes that I see in these patients, and when we adjust these movements, we almost always make a change to their symptoms. Now don’t get me wrong, i’m not a wizard, and to say everyone’s symptoms completely disappear from these simple changes would be a complete lie, but the fact that we can reduce the symptoms suggests that we are on the ball and that we are on our way to making a long term change. So let’s get in to it!
Pt 2. Shoulder Position
Keep your shoulders ‘back and down’. Almost imagine that you are trying to tuck your shoulder blades in to the opposite back pocket of a pair of pants. It is so common to see people at the end of their barbell bench press or dumbbell bench press to roll their shoulders forwards. Keeping your shoulders back and down is going to result in your shoulders remaining in a more stable position and in the long term is going to translate to you lifting heavier weights, pain free. What’s not to love?
Barbell Bench Press - Keeping Shoulders "Back and Down" on the Bench
Dumbbell Chest Press - Keeping Shoulders "Back and Down" on the Bench
Making these simple adjustments to your pressing technique is not only going to allow you to lift heavier in a more stable position, but you’re probably going to feel a better ‘pump’... as the kids call it these days. So when Monday comes along again and you’re training chest or shoulders before you head on out to the beach, I want you to give these technique changes a go to see if we can get rid of that niggly shoulder pain!