Bench Press Wrist Pain

Everyone loves a good bench press. An athlete might skip leg day, but they’ll never skip chest day. Bench-pressing is fun, iconic, and warrior-like. The training routine is the first thing that pops into a person’s mind when it comes to lifting weights. They are how you get that Marvel physique. And athletes tend to go bonkers for them — even a bit overboard when it comes to their sets, their limits, their whole attitude towards them. That enthusiasm, more than once, comes back and bites us in the ass in the form of injuries. In this article, we’re going to talk about one of the most common sprains, cramps, or sore spots when it comes to this go-to exercise, the ever-worrisome, bench press wrist pain. 

Wrist pain from bench press — what is it?

The bench press is a weight training exercise in which the person lies on their back on a bench, grabs the barbell with both hands, and pushes it up from their chest to the full extension over their head. Bench pressing is one of the most popular exercises for building upper body strength. However, there are some risks associated with this exercise. The most common risk is shoulder pain or injury which can be caused by poor form or incorrect weight. But there are other risks too, like wrist pain that occurs after bench press. 

Wrist pain after bench press can be caused by many reasons such as not using proper form and grip, incorrect hand placement on the barbell, improper distribution of weight during lifting or lowering the barbell, and so on. 

It can also occur due to an imbalance in the muscles of your forearm or a wrist injury like carpal tunnel syndrome. 

The cramp or overall pain in the area can be so severe that you may want to stop bench pressing altogether and call it quits for a couple of weeks. It’s critical to take a step back, get your chakras in place – or at the very least not freak out – and understand that it happens to all of us. It’s one of the most common types of injuries in the weightlifting cosmos — and sometimes, a simple tweak on your part might do wonders and alleviate the pain altogether. 

Wrist Pain From Bench Press

Wrist Pain after Bench Press — FAQ 

Let’s break it down and dissect the whole phenomenon of wrist pain from bench press by answering some of the most searched questions out there. 

What are the symptoms of bench press wrist injuries? 

The bench press is a popular exercise that requires the use of your wrists. If you have an injury to one or both of them, then you will want to know the symptoms and how to treat them.


  • Pain in the wrist joint.
  • Tingling sensation in fingers.
  • Difficulty lifting weights.

When should I see a doctor?

If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above regularly, it is very important to consult with a doctor as this could be a requirement for more time in rest or surgery.

Why does my wrist hurt after a bench press?

Your wrist plays a crucial part — it is the connective tissue between your forearm and your hands. They might not look as much, but they take the brunt of most of our everyday activities and exercises. They are under constant pressure. 

Some of 5 most common reasons you get wrist pain while bench pressing is: 

  • Resting the bar at the base of your fingers instead of lower down on the palm.
  • Gripping onto the bar with just a few fingers or using a thumbless grip.
  • Bending your wrists back too far while you grip the barbell.
  • Using too wide a grip on the barbell.
  • Going overboard with the kilos or pounds — using too heavy a weight.

What should I do If I start to feel wrist pain during a bench press?

The first thing you need to do is simply stop the training session. Rest immediately from bench pressing. 

Once you’ve stopped, it’s time to treat the pain so it doesn’t become a chronic injury.

  • Switch to other muscle groups for a couple of days and give your wrist a rest. 
  • Use over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Use ice packs.
  • Take anti-inflammatory medications.

How do I prevent wrist pain?

The bench press is a popular exercise, but it can be hard on the wrists. To protect your wrists and avoid pain, use these tips.

How to Prevent Wrist Pain from Bench Press
  • Place your hands on the bar so that your palms are facing each other. This will help distribute the pressure evenly across both wrists instead of concentrating it on one side.
  • Keep your hands and fingers as close to the bar as possible without letting them touch it. This will prevent you from pressing too far down, which causes more pressure on your wrists.
  • Use a thumbless grip instead of a full grip if you have wrist pain when benching. This will allow for more space between your palm and the barbell, which reduces pressure on your wrist joint.
  • Having a spotter in place that can help you out.
  • If you’re on your own, always try to bench press inside a power rack.
  • Use wrist wraps to protect the area.
  • Do warm up exercises before bench pressing — particularly wrist exercises. 
  • Lower weights.
  • Maintain proper form.
  • Strengthen wrist — start to take care of your wrist by bulking them up. Use dumbbells for curls, do wrist extensions, and stretch them. Bullet-proof your wrist. 

Importance of understanding wrist pain and bench pressing

A 2003 study done by the American College of Sports Medicine concluded that over 50% of free weight-related deaths were linked to bench pressing. Over 65% of preventable injuries are also a direct result of this type of training. Pain is the body’s way of telling you to perk up and pay attention, something is off. Never disregard warning signs, such as wrist pain from a bench press — untreated wrist pain might lead to chronic conditions, a condition that can only be treated through surgery and that require months of rehabilitation.