Shoulder Pain With Overhead Pressing

Does your shoulder hurt when you snatch, bench press, or overhead press?

If it does, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a lifetime of shoulder impingement and pain

Pain with benching and overhead lifting is a very common issue, but it’s one that can absolutely be resolved through proper training modification and exercise

The key is to find ways to more comfortably load your shoulder while things are calming down, and then gradually ramp up the benching and overhead lifting again

Exercise variations such as:

  • Landmine press
  • Tempo strict press
  • High incline bench press
  • 1.5 strict press
  • Muscle snatch
  • Snatch pulls

can all be useful variations to try and see how comfortable they are. If they are relatively comfortable, keep training them!

Another helpful strategy when dealing with shoulder pain in the gym is to perform some direct rotator cuff exercise and shoulder stability drills. These exercises can help you improve the strength, endurance, and overall load tolerance of the shoulder, without flaring up your pain!

Then, once you’ve built a good base of shoulder fitness with these modifications and additions to your training, you can start to progress back to your normal training.

Just know that this is best done with an individualized, well thought-out training and rehab plan.

If you need help resolving your shoulder pain, or coming up with a plan to get you back into the gym, schedule a call with our expert physical therapists by clicking the link below!


Ryan VanNieuwenhuyze

Barbell Physical Therapy & Performance

"We Help Active Adults, Lifters, And Athletes Solve Their Pain And Get Back To The Workouts And Sports They Enjoy Without Medication, Surgery, Or Stopping The Activities They Love."