Bench press: What are the commonly damaged tendons?

The bench press is a popular exercise in various gyms around the world. This exercise focuses on the pectoralis major, triceps brachii muscles and the deltoid. Even though simple to perform, incorrect technique can result to injury to the muscles, ligaments, joints or tendons.

The tendons are connective tissues that connect the muscles to the bones. Take note that white and non-elastic tendons have poor blood supply and take a long time to heal if damaged.

Safety precautions during bench press

You can reduce the risk for damaged tendons during bench press by observing precautions before and during the workout. Always warm up properly before the exercise.

It is recommended to perform some light cardio, push-ups and dynamic stretching before lifting heavier weights. The individual should work out with a spotter to safeguard safety especially while lifting near-maximum weights.

Damaged tendons

You can minimize the risk for injuries to the wrist tendons by keeping the wrists as straight as possible.

If the individual could not execute a lift, he/she might get pinned by the bar. Only perform the heavy benches after a certain period of acclimation. Remember that the body should steadily get used to increasingly substantial workouts over the upcoming weeks and months.

How the wrist tendons during bench press

Bench press places considerable strain on the wrist joints and tendons. You can minimize the risk for injuries to the wrist tendons by keeping the wrists as straight as possible.

The forearms must be perpendicular to the floor at all times and the hands are directly positioned over the forearms. Many individuals utilize stiff, tight wrist wraps to assist them in supporting heavy weights but this is only needed if lifting close to the maximum for low repetitions. Dependence of wrist supports might only make the wrists weaker and puts the individual at risk for damaged tendons.

Elbow tendons

Bench press requires a strong extension of the elbow joints while pushing the bar up to arms’ length. This is carried out by triceps brachii muscles that are positioned on the rear part of the upper arm. The triceps tendon sets into a bony protuberance right below the elbow and endures heavy stress during bench press.

You can reduce the stress on the triceps tendon by making sure that the forearms stay perpendicular to the floor while the elbows are not flexed more than 90 degrees. Avoid overextension of the elbows while pressing the arms to full extension since this places significant strain on the elbow joints.

Shoulder tendons

The joints in the shoulders are also involved in bench pressing. There is the risk for damaged tendons in the shoulder while bench press using heavy weights, lowering the bar rapidly towards the chest or placing the hands far apart.

The risk for damaged tendons in the shoulder can be minimized by lifting heavy weights that the individual is capable of lifting, positioning the hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and lowering the weight under control and avoid bouncing the bar off the chest.