Does bench press damage shoulders?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Dreamcatcher10, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. Dreamcatcher10

    Dreamcatcher10 Blue Belt

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    Ive been benching on and off for two years now. Lately ive been hearing about how benching full range (touching the chest) can damage your shoulders. Is this true? and if it is what is proper form that will leave shoulders healthy for years to come
     
  2. Itka

    Itka White Belt

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    It's probably more aboyt elbow angle than full depth. Your elbows should probably be somewhere between 80 and 45 degree angle from your body and they should maintain the same angle during the lift.
     
  3. BrassBalls

    BrassBalls Banned Banned

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    Most people don't bench properly. They do it with elbows flared. Doing it that way does seem to emphasize the pecs more, but if your arms go past parellel with the floor, it does put stress on your shoulders. This is how I learned to bench back when I was learning from muscle mags and to compensate for my shoulders, I would only bench to were my arms came to parallel (about 4-6 inches above chest). This is fine for bodybuilding aspects of lifting, but we don't talk about that here.


    That being said, if you bench properly, then your shoulders will be fine. I think Dave Tate has some good bench videos on youtube. As long as you tuck your elbows, it takes the pressure off of your shoulders.

     
  4. BrassBalls

    BrassBalls Banned Banned

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    Have you been squatting and deadlifting also? If not, you sure as shit should be. Check out the FAQ at the top of the sub forum.
     
  5. degoj99

    degoj99 Purple Belt

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    Yes. Most people can only bench heavy for so long. And then your a/c joints wear out. A lot of old lifters have to have this surgery where the bones of the a/c joint get seperated by cutting about 1 cm off of one of the bones. Switching to dumbbell press vs. bar helps a lot of people.

    If you're in your 20's or 30's you should be fine benching. But everyone gets old, and heavy bench will catch up to most people.
     
  6. razegfx

    razegfx Yellow Belt

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    obviously, given proper technique, benching isn't harmful in itself...but i've adopted the philosophy of doing lots of different exercises to make sure even muscle development occurs WRT shoulders (overhead press variation, row variation, pullup variation, rear delt work, some shrugs on occasion). obviously i don't do everything at once.

    also, i bench full-ROM out of principle. but i know there are benefits to squatting low (including improved joint health, as i've experienced), and i imagine that benching low (full-ROM) should work out to my advantage as well. it certainly hasn't caused me any problems, and this is coming from somebody who has torn and dislocated his shoulders on multiple occasions before taking up lifting as a hobby.

    cliffs: bench with proper form (in general; arched back, lower bar to the nipple-ish line, use a comfy grip width and go full ROM) and you should be alright.
     
  7. DEVILsSON

    DEVILsSON Black Belt

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    Bullshit. Please provide evidence of this claim.
     
  8. Tosa

    Tosa Red Belt

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    Correlation does not equal causation. Older lifters, on average, have more joint issues than younger lifters, because *gasp* they're older. It's not because after so many years in the gym they've worn out their joints or anything like that. It's the tissues around the joints don't recover as easily, or may be affected by other age related issues, like changes in the levels of hormones like testosterone.
     
  9. zx

    zx adventurer

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    Why this community listen Ripptoe for everything he said except for bench press, where gods place takes that ugly Tate?
     
  10. BrassBalls

    BrassBalls Banned Banned

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    I think I get what you are asking. That is just a really good bench video. I am sure rip has a good bench video too, but that one is good and funny as hell at the same time.
     
  11. animalistik

    animalistik Green Belt

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    I watched Rip's bench video a while ago and if I remember it correctly, it was completely different than Tate's. I believe it showed him instructing the lifters to bench with their backs flat on the bench.
     
  12. sweetc25

    sweetc25 Orange Belt

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    Good video. Some tips I can use. I have tried various ways of benching, and my shoulder always seems to start hurting when I bench heavy for a long period of time. Out of all those variations I have tried, my elbows were always flared out, so I think I will try what Dave Tate is talking about.
     
  13. HuMz

    HuMz Oldschool Belt

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    Bench with your elbows inside, and your biceps should never go past your body when you lower the bar.
     
  14. zx

    zx adventurer

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    I don't think so. Both of them coaching arched lower back during bench press, and tight upper back-chest out form. It is classic staff, not invention of hot water IMO.
     
  15. animalistik

    animalistik Green Belt

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    Ok, fair enough. I watched the video a long time ago.

    Edit: I remember something about the video being different then the norm. I think he doesn't advocate tucking of the elbows.

    Edit 2: I can't find the starting strength video anywhere, but this one showcases it a bit:


    Skip to 1:58. The kid's elbows are flared way out and he says it was good. I believe it was the same in the SS dvd.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  16. FiveFeezy

    FiveFeezy Orange Belt

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    So if I do crazy amounts of curls and get some big gunzors I don't have to go as low on my bench?
     
  17. Gierrod

    Gierrod Blue Belt

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    ^ Lulz!!
     
  18. animalistik

    animalistik Green Belt

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    I think you're onto something. Maybe all of these powerlifters have been training their bench all wrong.
     
  19. KnightTemplar

    KnightTemplar Ebony Belt Platinum Member

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    At last the truth can be told - we should all be training like Bodybuilders and have massive Gunzs!:icon_twis

    (Pulls on helmet and body-armour, dives into trench...)
     
  20. HuMz

    HuMz Oldschool Belt

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    Train your gunz kids! I meant elbows obviously :)
     

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