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.
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.
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
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.
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
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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