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Chest press or bench press safer?

Oliver Zolman MD

· Fitness

Chest press is generally advised over bench press as a safer form of pectoral exercise

Limiting range of motion in bench press may reduce risks of shoulder problems, such as excess pressure or dislocation; limiting width of hands to 1.5 times the shoulder width for example.

Similarly, the seated machine chest press should not be set up to have limited shoulder abduction or for hand spacing to be too large

Bench press has been found to cause bench presser’s shoulder (overuse of pectoralis minor) and pectoralis major ruptures, when done in excess (

Bench press is also time consuming versus chest press, and requires additional time to learn the technique and safety aspects ( a personal trainer reports that perturbations, i.e. disturbance in movements, whilst exercise should be limited to vibration plates when performing resistance exercise as otherwise there is a high risk of injury.

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