Bench pressing without pain
The thing about constantly lifting is that it’s not uncommon to develop anterior shoulder pain. Lifting really heavyweights can move the top of the humerus from its original position into the glenoid fossa.
In simple English, this means pain. Lots of pain that limits your range of movement.
Because conventional bench presses, a.k.a the stuff you do to look buffed up, require certain external rotations, hand elevations, and horizontal abductions, it can exacerbate an already painful situation.
This is where hex press comes in – it’s a form of pressing that allows you buff up, without putting pressure on your shoulders.
The squeeze or hex press
You can get buffed without flaring your shoulders. You’ll need dumbbells, which you’ll squeeze together with all your might during the lifting (concentric) and lowering (eccentric) part of the exercise.
What you’ll be doing is forcing your scapular, shoulders and deep humeral to stay in a central location. You’ll be doing this by initiating tension in the depression and internal rotation.
With the shoulder socket more centrally located, you can use torque production and internal tension to train as hard as you want, without causing more pain to your shoulders.
How to do a hex press using dumbbells
- Decide how you want to bench press (flat or inclined) and set your bench in that position. If you’re aiming for a bigger chest, let the bench be inclined.
- Pick up 2 dumbbells and put them in a hammer grip/neutral position – with your palms inward. Note that this exercise is called a hex press because you’ll need hexagon-shaped dumbbells (however, any form of dumbbells will work).
- With the dumbbells pressed together, lie back and extend your arms. slowly lower the dumbbells to your chest, ensuring they stay pressed together. Then lift up towards the ceiling.
- Make sure the weights stay over your chest throughout. Rinse and repeat the number of reps until you’re satisfied.
You can alternate the hex press with a regular dumbbell chest press but at a slower tempo.
That is, do your first rep of chest presses with your normal dumbbell weight – say 60 pounds. In the next rep, use about half of that weight – 30 pounds of dumbbell weight, to perform a hex press at a 5050 tempo.
A 5050 tempo means you lower the weights after a 5-second count without pause(0) once the dumbbells touch your chest. So you don’t pause at the top, only at the bottom.
It’s like this, lower the weights to your chest on a controlled 5-second count (5), and then without pausing (0), lift up towards the ceiling. Rinse, repeat.