Variant To Avoid Dumbbell Bench Press Shoulder Pain

shoulder pain

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE ! I watched an Athlean-x’s video  and I learned some good stuff.

I wrote an article about to avoid pain when you do dumbbell press or overhead shoulder press because I have a pain when I do it. Click here to read the article  . I have the same problem with the dumbbell bench press. I have pain when I do it, so I write this article to continue this exercise without pain.

Bench press is one of the fundamental exercises to build muscles but with this pain, I wondered if I should continue doing this exercise because it hurt.

Problem

The reason for this pain may be a biceps tendonitis, a torn labrum, an inflammation or shoulder impingement (inflammation in rotator cuff). All these problem create instability during this exercise while we know that stability (body’s stability and dumbbell’s stability) is very important to perform the movement properly.

In the case of a torn labrum, labrum is tied to the biceps tendon or rather the biceps tendon is attached to the labrum. During the movement, it’s the tension of the biceps tendon that pulls on the torn labrum.

Solution

The solution is to change the elbows position. To do the classic bench press, the elbows are at between 45° and 90°, dumbbell held horizontally in the hands and you press up. To calm the pain, we’ll change the position. The technique is to tilt the dumbbells so that the dumbbell’s back are facing the ceiling.

Classic dumbbell bench press

dumbbell bench press

dumbbell bench press

dumbbell bench press

Variant dumbbell bench press

variant dumbbell bench press

variant dumbbell bench press

variant dumbbell bench press

Tilting the dumbbell’s back does 2 things :

  • This brings your arms closer to your body because you use a semi pronated grip. With this position your hands and arms make your shoulders have a neutral position. It’s the equivalent of barbell corner press which helps to reduce the pain caused by dumbbell press .

  • You use your triceps more than your biceps during the movement. With the classic position, you use your biceps to stabilize dumbbells than your triceps. With this position, you flex your elbows so you use more triceps to stabilize dumbbells than your biceps.

 

 

dumbbell bench press
Classic dumbbell bench press

 

variant dumbbell bench press
Variant dumbbell bench press

Using more triceps than your biceps will seriously reduce the pain or make it disappear because there is less tension through the biceps and it will less pull on the torn labrum. If you have biceps tendonitis or inflammation, this will seriously decrease the pain. Try this technique and you’ll see that it will be the first time you’ve been doing pain-free bench press for a long time.

When I had this pain during this exercise, I thought of 2 options :

  • Stop doing bench press because you can’t support the pain anymore

  • Use lightweight

Now that I know this technique :

  • I can continue to do bench press

  • I can keep the same weights and increase them

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-Steph

General Stretching Of The Upper Body

stretching upper body

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE ! I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Stand with your feet a little wider than your pelvis width and you back is straight :

  • Hold your ams vertically with your hands clasped and your fingers crossed. Your palms directed upwards :

  • Inhale to inflate your lungs to the maximum and stretch your intercostal muscles. Push your palms up keeping your back and head upright.

  • Exhale slowly by relaxing and starts again.

This stretching exercise stretches intercostal, rectus abdominis, latissimus dorsi, teres major, triceps. When you incline your torso laterally, you stretch more your external oblique and internal oblique, quadratus lumborum and the internal and medium part of your erectors spinae.

stretching upper body lateral

Note

This stretch is great for relaxing the body after a training with heavyweights like leg press, squat, deadlift because the ribcage and spine have been compressed.

This movement may occasionally replace or supplement the stretching at the bar  to rebalance the pressure and tensions of the intervertebral joints.

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-Steph

High Calf And Low Calf

high calf low

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

I think you noticed that there are big differences in the shape of the calves. These morphological variations are due to the evolutionary adaptations to the climate that occurred during the first human migrations.

It’s common to see African blacks peoples with proportionally long legs with a sagging plantar arch of the foot (flat foot) and a long calcaneus. This bone conformation of the leg and foot provides excellent leverage in the ankle and minimal triceps surae muscle (calf muscle is short, thin and high with a long tendon) for powerful extension of feet to walk.

It’s common the see Nordic people with short legs with a pronounced plantar arch of the foot and a short calcaneus. This bone conformation of the leg and foot requires a massive and uneconomic triceps surae muscle who get down very low to do an extension of feet to walk.

high calf low anatomy

This type of massive and long calf is actually an adaptation to cold climates to keep body heat. This prevents legs from cooling too much during the freezing cold to prevent amputation of the legs. These massive and long calves are seen as aesthetic (bodybuilding competition) but they’re less suitable for running and more vulnerable to muscle tears.

Massive and long calves requires more and careful warm-up and it’s important to do stretching exercises before and after an intensive workout of calves.

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-Steph

Calf Stretching

calf stretching

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Standing with your hands on your hips. One leg forward with your knees stretched and your feet in the knee axis :

  • Flex the knee of the front leg while advancing your pelvis. Be careful to keep your back leg straight and keep your heels on the floor.

  • Keep this position to feel the stretch of the back leg.

This exercise mainly stretches triceps surae (composed of 2 gastrocnemius and soleus), flexor muscles of the toes and tibialis posterior. This exercise stretches a little bit long and short fibular.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know.Thank you.

-Steph

Seated Barbell Calf Raises

seated barbell calf raises

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

seated barbell calf raises

Sitting on a bench with a step under your forefeet. The barbell placed on the bottom of your thighs.

  • Do an extension of your feet

This exercise works mainly soleus. This muscle is part of the triceps surae and inserted above the knee’s joint, on tibia and fibula. It attached below to the calcaneus by the Achilles tendon. This muscle has the function of extending the ankles. The difference with the seated calf raises machine is that you can’t work with heavyweights. To have better results, it’s advisable to work with sets of 15 to 20 reps minimum.

Attention

If you have pain on thigh because of the barbell, you can use a towel or barbell pad.

Variant

You can do this exercise with the barbell without weights (the Olympic barbell weighs 20kg/44lbs) on a bench. In this case, it’s necessary to do sets with a lot of reps until the burning sensation,

triceps soleus muscles

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-Steph

Donkey Calf Raises

donkey calf raises

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Your feet on the step in passive flexion with yor legs stretched. Your torso inclined and your forearms are on the support. Your pelvis placed under the top pads :

  • Do an extension of your feet or a flexion.

This exercise works triceps surae (composed of 2 gastrocnemius and soleus) and particularly gastrocnemius.

one leg raises anatomy

insertions muscle triceps surae

Variant

donkey calf raises partner

This movement can be done with a step under your feet, your forearms on a support and a person stradding your pelvis.

Share this article if you think it can hellp someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

One Leg Toe Raises

one leg raises

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

one leg raises

Standing on one leg with your forefeet on a step. One hand holds a dumbbell and the other is placed on a support to have a better balance :

  • Do an extension of the foot keeping your knee joint in extension of slightly bent.

This exercise works triceps surae (composed of 2 gastrocnemius and soleus). It’s important to do each repetition with full flexion of the feet to really stretch the triceps surae. Only high set until the burning sensation give good results.

one leg raises anatomy

Note

For some people, triceps surae don’t gain volume bit it is gaining strength. Low calves (gastrocnemius and soleus go very down) will easily gain volume. High calves will gain a little volume.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph