Q: I find I can bench press twice a week without any shoulder pain, but if I do it three times a week, I start having issues. If I include some rotator cuff exercises in my workout, will I develop what you call the “structural balance” to be able to increase my bench press to three times a week?
A: It’s not that simple. Rotator cuff training will help prevent shoulder injuries by maintaining structural balance, but the bench press places a lot of stress on the joints.
As a general guideline, you should perform 80 percent of your presses using angles other than what you get when you’re supine on a flat bench, such as in an incline or military press. Also, because dumbbell exercises permit a more natural movement, you should do at least 50 percent of your pressing exercises with dumbbells.