Can bench press cause lower back pain? Why do i feel bench press in my back

Bench pressing is arguably the most popular workout in the gym. It is common knowledge that you should train your chest and triceps on Mondays. Shoulder and wrist pain are common side effects of benching. People who already suffer from back discomfort will also have pain in their lower backs (no kidding).

Can bench press cause lower back pain
Can bench press cause lower back pain

But what if you didn’t have to go through all of this? The solution is straightforward, but it will necessitate some effort on your part. With a better grasp of joint placement and joint centration, all of this suffering might be avoided. For the sake of brevity, I’ll concentrate on the issue of lower back pain during bench press.

Let’s talk about breathing for a moment.

Breathing properly is also known as belly breathing. Isn’t there nothing new there? Wrong, continue reading. We, as a society, desire to be thin. We maintain the musculature that is considered part of the core constricted in order to be slim.

By doing so, we are forced to breathe into our ribs. Every breath into your ribcage shifts the position of your ribs, forcing your lumbar spine to stretch. As a result, you must elevate your humeral head, decentrating your glenohumeral joint (shoulder), and preventing co-activation throughout the entire shoulder capsule and surrounding musculature.

Let’s talk about breathing for a moment.

This will raise the stress and strain on the supporting structures while also limiting the amount of load you can handle on the bar.
I’m sure you didn’t realize how vital breathing is, did you?

But hold on, it doesn’t stop there.

Consider low back ache for a moment. You must retain a modest lordosis of your lumbar spine in order to breathe into your ribs. In other words, your back’s excessive extension is only exacerbating the problem.

When you breathe into your ribs when benching, your spine is put under more tension. You’re having a wonderful day when you combine that with some decentration of your shoulders. It’s no surprise that benching 225 on Mondays excites you.

Breathing Techniques to Improve

This is a rather simple remedy; however, the simplicity of rectification varies from person to person. Laying on your stomach with your knees bent and feet on the floor is the simplest approach to explain and regulate your breathing.

Breathing Techniques to Improve

Place your right hand on your stomach and your left on your chest, and take deep breaths with only your right hand on your stomach moving. As difficult as it may seem, and as unnatural as it may appear, it is natural! Every breath is into the belly of a baby who has not been contaminated by today’s sedentary lifestyles.

Work on this every day until it becomes second nature to you. My favorite thing is when an athlete comes in giddy because they are now breathing through their bellies without even realizing it. It’s the first and most crucial step toward regaining function!


You can move on to intra abdominal pressure once we’ve re-established respiration. IAP is something you must feel for, and you can only feel it if you can breathe into your stomach.

Good IAP provides an optimal anchor for your joints and a load of stability through your spine, allowing force to be delivered efficiently throughout your body. The more stable your spine is during benching and lifting, the more force you can deliver to the bar efficiently.


This directs all of the effort toward your lift, rather than allowing it to escape into other joints that aren’t designed to handle that kind of strain.

Before you can apply accurate IAP to each rep, you must first understand how it feels. Lay on your back with your head 8 inches from the wall to do this. Place your hands flat against the wall. The 3 month position is the easiest to feel this in. 90 degrees of hip, knee, and ankle flexion is what 3 months looks like.

Take a deep breath into your stomach and press your hand hard into the wall once you’re in the position. When you press against the wall, you’ll feel a strange tension in your stomach.

The air within your abdomen is compressed by your diaphragm and pelvic floor. It’s important to remember it, commit it to memory, and use it in your training. You can feel how it can support your spine once you have it down.

Simply set your spine, take a breath, and press your hands into the bench or squat rack to do this when benching. As if you were forcing your hands against the wall, try to push yourself away from the bar.

You must be able to maintain appropriate spine alignment throughout each rep in order to keep the pressure. You won’t be able to sustain the same pressure if you move into extension through your lower back.

Examine your bench press technique.

If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort during or after an activity, the first thing you should do is reduce the amount of weight you’re lifting and double-check that you’re utilizing good technique.

Having the proper equipment is the first step toward proper form: Your bar should be mounted on a rack above a level bench and loaded with weight plates of equal size and quantity on both sides. Weight collars should be used to keep the weight plates in place so they don’t shift while you lift.

To perform a proper bench press, follow these steps:

Examine your bench press technique.
  1. Lie face-up on the bench and move up until your eyes are approximately parallel to the racked bar.
  2. If possible, place your feet flat on the floor on either side of the bench. You’ve already discovered the problem — or at least one problem — if your feet don’t reach the floor or if this position gives you discomfort. In a moment, I’ll go over some solutions for that.
  3. If your feet do reach the floor and you are comfortable in this posture, reach up and take the bar in an overhand hold. The distance between your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder width.
  4. Lift the bar off the rack and swing it forward until it clears the rack and is over your chest.
  5. As you lower the bar toward your chest, bend your elbows and let your arms naturally stretch out to the sides. Follow the American Council on Exercise’s guideline to stop when your elbows are slightly below the level of the bench for a prudent range of motion.

It’s all too easy to be completely unconscious of your own negative habits, especially if you’ve been focused on pushing yourself to new heights.

It’s all too easy to be completely unconscious of your own negative habits, especially if you’ve been focused on pushing yourself to new heights.

If you can’t figure out what’s causing your bench press back pain, it’s well worth investing in a session with a fitness specialist to figure it out. If all else fails, enlist the help of a friend, a strategically placed mirror, or a smartphone or tablet to record oneself in action from various angles.

Concerning Your Body Position

When powerlifters begin a bench press, they place their bodies in an exaggerated back arch, with their feet tucked back to encourage this position.

You don’t need to assume this exaggerated stance if you’re lifting for general strength and fitness – in fact, if you aren’t used to it, it could be the source of your back problems.

What is the solution? As you lie on the bench, shift your feet forward so they’re flat on the floor behind your knees, and allow your lower back to adopt its natural, neutral arch.

Spreading your feet apart slightly provides you a wider basis for better stability, which may help to relieve back discomfort. You may find it more difficult to raise the bar from this position since you don’t have the same mechanical advantage — but if it relieves your back pain, it’s worth it.

Another way to protect your back in this more neutral position is to: Squeeze your glutes while keeping your abs clenched (picture dragging your belly button in into your spine or your spine toward the bench).

Concerning Your Body Position

This will help to stabilize your spine and prevent you from falling into hyperextension unintentionally.

Are you still uncomfortable, or are your legs simply too short to reach the ground? Putting your feet on a raised platform can help: Place plyo boxes or lower benches next to your weight bench where you can rest your feet. If it doesn’t work, look for a lower bench to do your pushes on.

You can use a dumbbell press instead of a barbell rack if one isn’t available for that bench.

Back Pain from Bench Press Troubleshooting

Is it still hurting your back when you bench press? It bears repeating: don’t raise through the discomfort. Instead, reduce the amount of weight you’re lifting, double-check your form, and reduce the amount of weight you’re lifting.

If your back pain persists, stop lifting and seek medical advice to determine the source of your discomfort.

If you suffer back pain, you’re not alone; according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, nearly 80% of adults will have low back pain at some point in their lives, and more than a quarter of adults questioned have had back pain in the previous three months.

Back Pain from Bench Press Troubleshooting

Sprains and strains, arthritis, herniated or ruptured discs, traumatic injuries, and skeletal anomalies like scoliosis are just a few of the possible reasons of that pain.

Seeing a doctor or physical therapist and admitting that anything is causing your pain doesn’t imply you have to quit lifting immediately. In fact, exercising extra physical exercise, even if it isn’t hefty bench presses, can occasionally be the answer.

Your medical staff will collaborate with you to determine the ideal lower back pain training regimen for your specific needs. If you don’t keep bench pressing, you can end up performing push-ups, dumbbell presses, the chest press machine, and cable flies as a substitute.

F.A.Q can bench press cause lower back pain:

Why does my back hurt after doing bench press?

Back discomfort due by improper posture or lifting technique is the most common cause of back pain when lifting weights. Back rounding is a frequent issue, and it can cause your hips to be at an odd angle, putting stress on the ligaments around your spine.

Can lifting weights cause lower back pain?

Lifting weights on a daily basis enhances cardiovascular fitness, strength, a healthy metabolism, and even good bone health as a kind of strength training. It does, however, put a lot of strain on other portions of your body, especially your spine. When this happens, you may have back pain to some degree.

How do you relieve lower back pain?

Continue to move forward. When you’re in agony, you might not feel like it.
Stretch and strengthen your muscles. Your back is supported by strong muscles, particularly those in your abdominal core.

  1. Maintain Good Posture
  2. Eat a Healthy Diet
  3. Stop Smoking
  4. Use Ice and Heat
  5. Know Your OTC Medications.
  6. Medicated Creams should be rubbed on.


These recommendations are based on my personal experience and the results I’ve achieved with clients. Don’t take any of the measures lightly. You won’t be able to create proper IAP if you can’t breathe properly.

You’ll be flopping around on the bench in the three-month position if you can’t build sufficient IAP, and no one wants to be the one who falls off the bench. That’s as awful as falling off the treadmill while looking at the person next to you!

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Field John

If you are an avid believer in health and fitness and want to do something for your team, I can help. As the founder of Field Goals Fitness, I lead a collective of health and fitness professionals dedicated to helping Australians lead a more active and healthier lifestyle. With a warm, friendly, and supportive approach that gets results, I enjoy helping individuals & organisations achieve sustainable success with their health and fitness goals. Certifying as a Personal Trainer in 2009, was a turning point in my life. I had spent 14 years in the corporate world in Business Development roles and decided to take all that I had learnt in sales and marketing and start my own business.

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