The Issue of Bench Press Injuries - Are you the Next Victim?
Bench Press - Risk Vs Benefits
The bench press has been dubbed the king of all upper body weightlifting exercises. This is not a hyperbolic statement.
Working out performing the bench press most definitely enhances the upper body to a significant degree.
While it is definitely true that the chest is worked out greatly, it is also true that the biceps, triceps, shoulders, and even a portion of the back are developed via a bench press.
Again, the -bench press -is the -supreme king of all upper body workout exercises. This is why it is so necessary to integrate the bench press into the regular performance of your exercise regimen.
Bench Press is not without Risks
While the bench press does have much value to it, it is also important to point out that there is always a potential for injury.
This is true of all forms of weightlifting exercises but it would seem injuries appear more common with the bench press due to frequency of use.
In other words, because this is the most popular of all weightlifting exercises more people employ it. As a result, you will see higher instances of injuries due to prevalence.
The injury rate may not be high due to the bench press being more potentially injurious than other exercises.
That said, injury potential increases when you are not performing your exercises properly. Bad form, horse play, and not paying attention to your performance of the bench press will definitely boost the odds of an injury. Don't make these common oversight errors or else you are boosting your injury risk quite a bit.
Common Bench Press Injuries
Sternum Injuries - The sternum bone is the small bone in the center of your chest. If you bounce the bar across the sternum then you run the risk of creating a minor injury that will hurt quite a bit 24/7. Such a "minor" injury could also take several months to heal making it an injury best avoided. A worst case scenario would be the collapse of the bar which lands on and breaks the sternum.
Crushed Windpipe - This results from dropping the bar and having it land on the throat. At best, this could lead to a serious injury. At worst, it can lead to a fatality.
Pec Muscle Tear - This type of injury is rare and it entails the tearing of the pec muscle right off the bone. Such a severe injury is common among steroid users but those that are natural trainers can suffer from it as well. Often, it is the result of lifting far too much weight for your strength level.
Hyperextended Elbow - Thrusting the bar up rapidly and locking out your elbows at the finish off the move could hyperextend the elbow. Locking out the elbow is advised but the rapid raising of the bar can lead to the hypertension.
Lower Back Injury - Bench pressing without keeping your back flat on the bench might lead to a back injury. As such, you need to maintain a straight back when lifting.
Treatments for Common Bench Press Injuries
The treatment for injuries deriving from a bench press accident can vary depending upon the severity of the injury. If you have suffered a minor sternum injury or a slightly hyperextended elbow, it will likely heal on its own.
Anti-inflammatory drugs both over the counter and prescription may be required to help reduce the pain and swelling the injury causes.
More severe injuries will require far more extensive treatment. In some cases, surgery (potentially major surgery) could be required to correct the problem.
Full and total rest is almost always required in the aftermath of an injury. Hitting the gym when injured will seriously undermine the ability to heal an injury. Worse yet, you may even worsen the injury in training. Yes, there may be a desire to get right back into the gym and start pumping iron again but this could prove to be a self-defeating venture. You do not want to make your injuries worse...ever.
No matter what type of bench press injury you suffer you will need to have it checked out by a qualified physician. Not doing so could undermine your potential to properly correct the problem and get yourself back into gym shape.