Bench Press Causing AC Joint Pain

Bench Press Form

Bench pressing can be a great way to build strength and tone your body, but it’s important to pay attention to your form to avoid injury. Proper bench press form uses the right muscles at the right time and helps to prevent strain on the joints. To start, make sure your feet are planted firmly on the floor and your glutes are slightly raised off the bench. Make sure your wrists are in line with your elbows and your shoulder blades are pulled back and down. When lowering the bar, keep your elbows tucked in close to your body. Push the bar back up by pressing through your chest, pause for a moment, then slowly lower the bar. If you keep your weight manageable and your form correct, you can enjoy the benefits of bench pressing without hurting your AC joint.

Identifying the Pain

Exercising is a great way to stay fit, healthy and in shape, but sometimes people can experience pain and discomfort when performing certain exercises. An example of this would be AC joint pain experienced when performing the bench press. People often experience pain in this area due to bad posture or incorrect form during the exercise. To ensure that this does not cause more serious problems, it is important to properly identify the source of the pain. Seeing a doctor is the best approach if the pain is persistent, as they can determine the cause and give the necessary advice on how to prevent it recurring. Taking the time to warm up before exercising and following correct form when lifting weights can also be beneficial in preventing the pain. This will ensure that you exercise safely and efficiently, with the end result being a healthy body free of pain.

Risks of Improper Form

Bench presses can be an effective exercise, but they come with certain risks if they are not performed properly. Improper form can lead to the over-stretching of muscles or tendons and can also cause pain in the acromioclavicular (AC) joint. To avoid this type of injury, it is important to focus on proper technique and form when performing any exercise. Ensure that the bar is placed in the correct position and that your arms are fully extended when you lift. Additionally, it is important to keep the back flat and the core engaged to ensure that the weight is not being put on the AC joint. To ensure safety and prevent injury, always start with lighter weights and increase the load gradually. Furthermore, it is important to listen to your body and stop if you feel any pain or discomfort. Following these tips will help minimize the risk of injury and ensure that you are getting the most out of your workout.

Correcting Your Form

If you feel discomfort or pain in the AC joint while performing the bench press exercise, it is important to assess and correct your form. Incorrect form can cause the barbell to press directly onto the AC joint, resulting in pain, inflammation and swelling. To correct this, it is essential to adjust the width of your grip. A wider grip will reduce the strain on your AC joint as the strain will be distributed more evenly throughout your body. It’s also important that your shoulders stay firmly pressed into the bench and that your back is arched. This will help to keep your shoulder blades down and back, and stop them from shrugging up, which can also put stress on your AC joint. Remember that while the bench press is an effective exercise, proper form is essential to both maximize your results and prevent injury.

Strengthening Your Core

When it comes to preventing or reducing shoulder and AC joint pain from bench pressing, strengthening your core is just as important as strengthening your chest and shoulders. Strengthening your core helps to build stability, strength and balance in the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. This helps to support and protect the shoulder joint from strain. Here’s how to strengthen your core:

  1. Incorporate planks and mountain climbers into your exercise routine
  2. Do side plank lifts with a resistance band
  3. Do yoga poses such as the warrior, triangle, and cobra
  4. Do some core-specific exercises like abdominal holds and crunches
  5. Do kettlebell exercises like windmills and Russian twists
  6. Incorporate a stability ball into your core exercises

By adding these core exercises into your exercise routine, you can help to prevent or reduce the risk of shoulder and AC joint pain from bench pressing. Incorporating these exercises into your routine on a regular basis will help you to stay safe and healthy while bench pressing.

Exercises to Reduce Pain

The AC joint is a common source of pain and discomfort for weightlifters and exercise enthusiasts. Bench press exercises can cause AC joint pain, especially when done with heavy weights and improper form. To reduce the risk of pain and injury, it is important to take the appropriate precautions and use the correct form while performing the bench press exercise. Here are some exercises that can help reduce AC joint pain:

  1. Stretching- Doing stretches that target the shoulders and chest muscles can help reduce tension in the AC joint.
  2. Strengthening- Strengthening exercises such as seated rows and push-ups can help build up the muscles surrounding the AC joint, improving stability and reducing pain.
  3. Icing- Icing the affected area can help reduce inflammation and pain in the joint.
  4. Rest- Taking breaks from bench press exercises can help reduce the stress on the AC joint and allow it to heal.

These exercises can help reduce AC joint pain and improve the overall health of the joint. It is important to take the time to perform each exercise correctly and pay attention to any changes in pain or discomfort. If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your AC joint, you should consult with your doctor or physical therapist before engaging in any exercise activities.

Stretching the Muscles

Stretching the muscles is an important part of any weight lifting program. When lifting weights, your body needs to be adequately warmed up and the muscles need to be stretched to prevent injury. For bench press exercises, stretching the chest muscles, shoulders and triceps can help to prevent AC joint pain. Stretching will also help to improve range of motion, which can reduce the risk of injury. Additionally, stretching can help to increase blood flow to the muscles, thereby improving muscle performance, reducing muscle soreness and increasing flexibility. Before performing any bench press exercises, it is important to warm up your body and stretch the muscles in order to prevent AC joint pain and optimize the effectiveness of your workout.

Getting Professional Help

If you experience any type of shoulder pain while engaging in the bench press, it is important to get professional help. A qualified physical therapist can assess your condition and help you determine the source and cause of your pain. An accurate diagnosis is the first step in determining the best course of action in treating your pain. Physical therapy can help you to strengthen the muscles and ligaments of the shoulder to help reduce the chances of reinjury, as well as improving posture and increasing range of motion. By taking the time to identify the cause of the pain you can prevent further injury and increase the long-term effectiveness of any treatment program.


In conclusion, bench press can be a great way to get in shape, but it can also cause AC joint pain if not done correctly. Proper form is key to avoiding injury, as is ensuring that the weight is not too heavy. In addition, it is important to warm up and stretch beforehand, as well as use proper supportive equipment. With the proper precautions, bench press can be a great exercise for those looking to strengthen their chest muscles and build overall strength.

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