8 Tips to Avoid getting hurt doing Bench Presses & Dips

1. Don't do it if it hurts

Because of shoulder problems, flexibility issues , body types and a range of other issues… Not everyone can do dips without pain in their shoulder joints & sternum (the middle of your chest) and on the flip side…

Not everyone can bench press without pain in their shoulder joints so for example…

If doing dips aggravates your joints, puts too much pressure on your sternum or hurts your shoulders then don't do it! Instead…

Pick other exercises that don't put you in pain but also work your chest and arms like bench presses & flyes and vice versa - If bench presses are straining your shoulder joints…

Try doing dips instead so…

The point is to listen to your body and pick an exercise that works your chest without putting any unnecessary strain on your joints where you can use enough intensity to build better looking chest & arms without injuring yourself.

2. Always warm-up your upper body before doing dips & bench presses

You can do things like arm swings, You can pedal on an arm bike (a Pro2) to loosen up your shoulders, you can walk on your hands and you can even apply heat rubs, sports creams to your joints to warm up but the point is…

You want to do something that's of light intensity for you that get's your upper body warmed up with blood flowing into your joints to prevent injury.

3. *Do 5-to-15 body weight only dips or light bench presses to continue warming up.

*The same applies for any heavy compound exercise you do so even if you are doing a workout with heavy barbell rows… It's a good idea to do 5-to-15 light barbell rows before your back workout

4. Stretch your chest, triceps, and shoulders, back and rotator cuffs before bench presses & dips

In order of importance…

5. Don't use a wider than shoulder width grip on bench press

Going wider than shoulder width on the bench press may work your chest muscles more but it will put your shoulders at a higher risk of injury so it's best to use a shoulder width grip and…

It's recommend that you Look at this bench press video here for ways to "feel" it more in your chest while doing bench presses.

6. Do pulling exercises (make your back and biceps stronger)

If you work your chest, shoulders, and triceps a whole lot with dips & bench presses and if you rarely do back exercise like pull-ups & chin-ups or Bench rows

Your stronger chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles will create an imbalance between your pushing (your chest, shoulders, and triceps) & pulling (your back & biceps) muscles and this imbalance will cause a lot of shoulder instability while doing bench presses and dips which can easily lead to injury so…

Make sure you do an equal amount of pushing and pulling exercises so for every set of dips you do - you should also do a set of pull-ups & chin-ups or rows.

Quick tip: working your back muscles will help you lift more weight in dips & bench presses because your back muscles are stabilizers so basically…

Your back muscle tighten up to help you finish dips & bench presses and the stronger your backs is means the better your back can stabilize your chest muscles helping you lift more weight in dips & bench presses.

7. Get stronger rotator cuffs

The most often injury form bench pressing, doing dips & overhead pressing is rotator cuff injury's due to weak rotator cuff and back muscles.

Your rotator cuffs are just 4 tiny muscles that surround your scapula (your shoulder blades) and these 4 tiny muscle help stabilize and keep your shoulder joints in place and…

You can do this work out here to strengthen your rotator cuff muscles

Quick tip: Just like a stronger back - Stronger rotator cuff muscles can help you bench & dip heavier weights

8. Do decline bench exercises instead of Incline & flat bench presses

If you have bad shoulders or feel pain in your shoulders while doing flat or incline bench presses…

Do decline bench presses instead because of the angle of the decline bench - your shoulders are not doing that much work and your chest and arms are doing most of the work which will still help you get bigger chest and arms

9. Don't go down too deep when doing dips

The deeper you go down when doing dips may give you a better chest and arm workout but if you have poor upper body flexibility , strength and/or bad shoulders then…

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Adrian Bryant NowLoss.com

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There are 5 comments

I am a beginner body builder ,I went to gym for 2 months and then quitted .after one year I am getting pain in my right upper abdomen(near external oblique position). I think it may be because of heavy chest workouts and mostly because of chest dips or may be because of not drinking enough water after quitting gym .please suggest me what to do

April 25, 2014

Adrian Bryant

have you seen a therapist about htis?

April 25, 2014


i m 25 yrs old . my shoulder and biceps cannot increases .my biceps size is 13 inch.i m naturally body builder .i cannot take supplement.how can i grow my biceps fast .tell me.

March 11, 2012


I had the same problem but I trained my arms every single day. I went from 14in biceps to 20in biceps

February 24, 2014

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