People dont often link their elbow pain to the bench press. It is a relatively common comlpaint that we see in our clinics, particularly with some of the big lifters.
What we see as the issue creating elbow problems during the bench press is the shoulder. The two movements that the shoulder needs to be able to perform to get into the deeper part of the bench press position are horizontal abduction (the action the shoulder does to get the elbows moving towards the floor during the bench press) and internal rotation.
When the shoulder can't perform these two movements it becomes an issue during the bench press because the hands are fixed by a heavy bar, with only so much room to give and without the shoulder moving correctly the elbow is stuck in the middle.
This means that as you try and lift the bar back up out of the bottom-most point of the lift, the elbow is forced to rotate, causing irritation of the wrist flexors/supinators as well as the inside part of the elbow joint.
Although it may sound technical your chiropractor or physiotherapist can easily identify this and treat it by regaining the movement in your shoulder and reducing the local irritation at the elbow.
Before long you will be pushing new boundaries with the bench press!
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