Back pain w/db bench press

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Kram2
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Back pain w/db bench press

Post by Kram2 » Sat Aug 09, 2008 2:34 pm

Hello all,

I have a question regarding the dumbbell bench press for you all. Lately as I perform my reps I feel pain in the middle of my back, around the lats I would assume.

A couple things that stick out to me. When I shift my body to the right in benching position the pain eases. When I lift heavier weight the pain eases. The benches are not totally flat, they are adjustable so you can perform incline exercises. I have an idea that that break in the bench is not helping my position, but moving forward and back has not helped with the pain.

I try to push my lower back down for better support, I do not think I arch through the back at all, but maybe that would be it?

If anyone has any suggestions to help get rid of this pain I'd appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.

Kram

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Stephen Johnson
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Re: Back pain w/db bench press

Post by Stephen Johnson » Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:06 pm

Kram2 wrote:I have a question regarding the dumbbell bench press for you all. Lately as I perform my reps I feel pain in the middle of my back, around the lats I would assume.
How much back work do you do?

Overtraining the chest will lead to a muscle imbalance between chest and back. That imbalance can manifest itself in the form of back pain.

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Post by Jungledoc » Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:19 am

A little arch in the low back is OK, probably good.

Are you "setting" your shoulders? Pull the shoulder blades together and down. The shoulder blades are what should be pressing into the bench.

And, yeah, what Stephen said about back work. The old rule about rowing a rep for every rep you press probably isn't far off.

If small adjustments like these don't relieve the problem, then cut weight down until it doesn't hurt, and work back up very slowly, being sure to balance the pressing with pulling exercises.

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Post by Kram2 » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:15 am

I try to keep the back and chest work even. Although, I tend use a pulldown machine, mixture of close and wide grip, and heavier weight on it than with the db press. Should I switch to bent over rows?

I'll try bringing the shoulder blades together and down with a little arch in the low back tomorrow.

Thanks for the replies!

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Stephen Johnson
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Post by Stephen Johnson » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:46 am

Kram2 wrote:I try to keep the back and chest work even.
That shoots down the imbalance theory, then. It's possible doing more horizontal rowing (eg bent over row) might relieve the problem, but that's a grasping at straws possibility. You should be doing both vertical and horizontal pushes and pulls to keep your shoulder in balance.

The only other thing that I can think of is the upward rotation of the scapula, which involves the traps (at the center of your back). Do you have the pain when you do flat bench presses, as opposed to incline?

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Post by Kram2 » Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:17 am

Interesting. The last time I did incline presses I did not have pain. So that means I should be working the traps as well then, right? Kind of feel I neglect them anyway.

May just be dense but not following the horizontal/vertical movements to keep the shoulders in balance.

Do you mean I should do rows and pulldown for back, and flat db press for chest as well as....?

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:46 am

Kram2 wrote:Interesting. The last time I did incline presses I did not have pain. So that means I should be working the traps as well then, right? Kind of feel I neglect them anyway.

May just be dense but not following the horizontal/vertical movements to keep the shoulders in balance.

Do you mean I should do rows and pulldown for back, and flat db press for chest as well as....?
I don't have a good answer for you regarding your back pain. If it really concerns you, a visit to a sports-oriented doctor is in order.

Years ago, when I did plyometric push-ups (with a clap), I pulled a muscle in my upper middle back. I stopped doing them for a while, and when I resumed, the pain was gone and didn't come back. I didn't do anything to account for the change.

And yes to your question about vertical and horizontal push/pulls - pulldowns and rows for back, incline and flat presses for chest. You also should do shoulder/military presses. Horizontal rowing involves the middle and lower traps, so it you row, your traps will grow.

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Post by Rik-Blades » Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:21 pm

I pulled by rhomboid doing heavy front raises a while back, the pain i experienced sounds just like yours.

If the pain eases by shifting your weight over on the bench slightly, this is probably pressing your scapula inwards, thus eliminating the rhomboids job of keeping the scapula in place. Likewise, incline pressing is doing the same.

I've yet to find a effective strech for the rhomboid, its a very hard muscle to put your finger on (quite literally!) because its buried under your traps.

I'm with stephen, see a physio or doctor (i'm lucky and have a physio as a personal friend). Go light on front delts for a while, see what happens.

Dont give up!

Rik

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Post by Kram2 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:02 am

Thanks for the suggestions and support!

Tried all the suggestions yesterday.

Squeezed my shoulder blades together and down as per Jungledoc and felt the pain diminished greatly. It was to the point where I think I felt it because I expected to.

As per Stephen I am now going to include incline chest press and some variation of a row with the pulldown.

I'll try to go lighter on the front delts Rik. I perform standing shoulder presses and do rear delt rows as well to try and keep the delts a little even.

Feels great guys!

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