How to Prevent a Bad Day on the Bench

How to Prevent a Bad Day on the Bench?

Bench Pressing Every Other Day: A Good Idea or a Bad Idea?

The Bench Press is one of the most popular exercises among lifters. However, it can be dangerous if done too often. There are many reasons why you shouldn’t do it every single day. Some of them include:

1) You don’t have enough time to spend on your training.

2) You’re not strong enough to lift heavy weights every single day.

3) Your back hurts from doing it too much.

4) You don’t want to injure yourself.

On the other hand, there are some times when you need to go through with it every single day because of a specific reason like:

5) You work at home and cannot train regularly due to your schedule.

6) You’re having problems with your family members and they make you bench press every single day.

If any of these cases apply to you, then it’s better to avoid bench pressing every single day. If none of those apply, then it’s best to just keep going with it once in awhile.

What Happens If I Lockout On Bench Press?

Locking out on the bench press is bad for your shoulders. It can cause shoulder impingement and rotator cuff tears. There are several factors that affect shoulder impingement. These factors include:

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1) Weak rotator cuff muscles.

2) Weak or small subscapularis muscle.

3) Weak upper back muscles.

4) Poor form on bench press.

5) Poor sleeping position (on your side).

6) Lack of rest.

7) Gender (women are more prone to rotator cuff issues).

8) Age (the older you are, the more likely you are to get rotator cuff issues).

It is best to find a solution to this problem before it becomes a chronic issue. A good way to start is by trying out different exercises such as the overhead press and push press instead of the bench press. You might also want to try doing dumbbell presses instead since it’ll place less stress on your shoulder joints. Another thing you can do is switch to a wide grip on bench pressing.

This will place the shoulder in a better position and decrease the risk of injury. Make sure that you’re always using proper form when doing the exercise. If all else fails, you can try taking a break from bench pressing and work on your muscles with other exercises.

Benching every day is bad for your shoulders.

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Breathing Techniques While Benching

But I’ve always been told to take a deep breath and hold it while lifting.

I can’t tell you how many times this has been said to me. Just the other day, in fact.

This has been proven to be completely ineffective for strength based movements such as the bench press. In fact, it could even be dangerous to hold your breath for extended periods of time.

If you need to take a deep breath while lifting, such as the bench press, then I suggest you do it on the way down. This is much more safe and beneficial for your strength. You’ll be able to utilize more of your strength because you’re taking in a large volume of oxygen while at the same time you’re pushing the most amount of air out of your lungs in preparation for the next repetition.

Breathing in while lifting should be avoided at all costs.

Benching Without A Spotter

The question is very simple: are you able to bench without a spotter?

If you can, then this question doesn’t concern you and you may continue your pursuit to get bigger and stronger. If, however, you aren’t able to bench press without a spotter, then I highly recommend that you find a way to do so immediately.

Why?

Well, I’m sure you must’ve heard about the tragic stories on the news about how a person was benching alone in his home and then died from being unable to get himself off of the bar. This is very possible and if this is a risk you’re willing to take then I’m not going to tell you that you can’t do it.

However, if this is a risk you’d like to avoid, then I suggest finding a way to bench without a spotter. The easiest way I can think of is to go to a gym that has at least 4-5 people in it or preferably a small gym with 1 or 2 people in it. Wait for the benches to be empty and lift.

You have to be cautious about this though because I remember a time when I worked at a warehouse and all the benches were occupied. All of the employees got upset when I grabbed a piece of plywood, set it on some boxes, and proceeded to do my workout.

This is just one way to get around the problem but if you’re creative, I’m sure that you can find a solution.

Take your gym bag with you everywhere you go.

How to Prevent a Bad Day on the Bench - Picture

Torn Rotator Cuffs

This is a very common injury among those who bench press on a regular basis. I’m not sure what exactly causes this but I’ve heard many reasons from people that all make complete sense.

Some say it’s caused by poor form, some say it’s due to sleeping on your side, some say it’s because you don’t get a spot while lifting, and some even say it’s due to lifting too heavy.

Whatever the reason may be, if you bench a lot then it’s only a matter of time when you’ll likely experience some sort of pain on your shoulder/rotator cuff area. This pain can range from being very minor to being completely debilitating.

I’ve had this pain on and off for years. When it’s been bad, I couldn’t even lift my arms over my head. Other times it’s been okay, but the pain has always been very uncomfortable. I can’t think of any reason why this would’ve happened other than bench pressing without a spotter for years on end.

I’ve seen some people recommend that you sleep on your back to help with this condition. This has worked for me in the past so I can vouch for it being at least somewhat helpful.

The problem with this is, who wants to sleep on their back all the time?

It’s not really that comfortable and it gets really bad when you have a girlfriend.

I’ve also heard some people say that raising your shoulders off of the bench when you’re performing the lowering portion of the lift helps as well. I’ve tried this technique and I’ve found that it really doesn’t do anything for me so I don’t bother with it anymore.

Stretching the muscles in your shoulders and rotator cuff area can also be very helpful. This is one of the best things that you can do to keep these muscles healthy and flexible.

Torn Muscles

It’s very uncommon to tear a muscle while benching but I’ve seen it happen to a junior weightlifter at my old high school. He literally couldn’t even move his arm because it was so torn up.

I’m not exactly sure what happened to him but from what I heard he was trying to max out and attempted to lift his personal best of 300 lbs but failed badly. The barbell veered to the right and fell on top of his arm, which caused a great deal of pain and injury. He couldn’t even lift his arm for months after this happened.

This is just one example of what can happen when you tear muscles. If this ever happens to you, you’re going to be in a world of hurt so you better do something to prevent it from happening in the first place.

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The only thing that comes to mind is lifting less weight than your personal best. Perhaps this weightlifter would’ve been fine had he lifted less than his personal best. Of course this is just a guess but common sense should tell you that tearing muscles isn’t a good thing to happen.

Rehabilitation

If you do happen to get some sort of shoulder injury or some other kind for that matter, you’re going to want to make sure that you rehabilitate yourself in the best way possible. If you don’t do this then it’s likely that the injury will just keep on re-occurring after you’ve healed up from it.

In order to rehabilitate a shoulder injury, there are plenty of things that you can do. Some of these things may be things that you don’t like doing, but trust me they are very important.

Stretching Your Shoulders And Rotator Cuff Muscles

This is probably the most common treatment for a lot of shoulder injuries. The stretching that you do for this is mainly on your rotator cuff muscles and the front deltoid muscles.

Stretching these muscles is very important to get your flexibility back and to prevent future injuries from re-occurring.

Chiropractic Work

A lot of people disregard this as a treatment but it’s very helpful in preventing shoulder injuries from happening again. This can be either once a week or once every two weeks depending on the severity of your injury and your pain threshold.

I’ve had to go to chiropractic work on a weekly basis for two years after I injured my shoulder just to make sure that everything was healed up and in good working order.

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This is one of the best things you can do after rehabilitating your injury because it helps get rid of any lingering pain that might still be there, loosens up your muscles and increases your mobility.

A lot of people don’t like going to the chiropractor at all when they’ve had an injury but in my opinion it’s well worth the money and time. Massage Therapy

Once again, this is something that a lot of people would rather not do but it’s actually pretty helpful. This can be used in conjuction with stretching and chiropractic work to really speed up your road to recovery.

Getting a massage on a regular basis helps to improve your blood flow, increases the range of motion in your shoulder and loosens up your muscles.

Once again, this is something that I had to do in conjuction with chiropractic work after my shoulder injury. Having a consistent massage 3 times a week helped to speed up my recovery time immensely.

These things are very helpful especially if you want to get your range of motion back as fast as possible.

Stuff You Can Do On Your Own

There are also some things that you can do on your own as well to help improve your shoulder functions and get back in tip top shape.

These exercises are stuff that you should be able to do daily whether it’s at home, at work or even at the gym. Some of these exercises you can do with a resistance band as well. Try and do them daily but no more than 3 times a day or your shoulder might get burnt out really fast.

Shoulder Stretches (Hold Each Stretch for 30 Seconds)

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Bend over and touch your toes.

Raise your arm over your head and try and touch the back of your shoulder.

Reach up high over your head and try to touch the ceiling.

Reach behind your back and try to touch your waist. (be sure not to hurt your back)

Shoulder Presses (Do This 5-10 Times)

Hold a can of soup or any kind of light weight in your hand.

Raise it over your head and then lower it in front of you.

Make sure to keep good posture and go nice and slow. You don’t want to do any more harm than what you’ve already done to yourself.

Push-Ups (Do This 5-10 Times)

Bend your arms and lower your chest to the floor.

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Raise yourself back up to the starting position. Don’t try to do too many of these if you haven’t worked out in awhile because you might hurt yourself.

Try and get a exercise ball as well to help strengthen your rotator cuff muscles.

Do these exercises as much as you can on a daily basis and in a few weeks you should be back in good shape.

I wish you the best of luck with your recovery and I hope that this article has helped you out in some way.

Keep your chin up and your shoulders back!

Thomas Z.

Sources & references used in this article:

Blinking on the bench: How judges decide cases by C Guthrie, JJ Rachlinski, AJ Wistrich – Cornell L. Rev., 2007 – HeinOnline

How Translational Medicine Is Progressively Redefining Healthcare: From bench to bedside, the patient is the bedrock of translational research by F Dufour – Available at SSRN 3090737, 2017 – papers.ssrn.com

Einstein on the bench: Exposing what judges do not know about science and using child abuse cases to improve how courts evaluate scientific evidence by JA Moreno – Ohio St. LJ, 2003 – HeinOnline

View from the Bench-How One Judge Confronts a Red Herring by HT Shafer – Fam. Advoc., 1989 – HeinOnline

Perspective from the Bench on the Value of Clinical Appellate Training of Law Students by RJ Aldisert – Miss. LJ, 2005 – HeinOnline

How much should judges be paid? An empirical study on the effect of judicial pay on the state bench by JM Anderson, E Heiland – Stanford Law Review, 2012 – JSTOR