Todd and I have both been experiencing some shoulder pain during pressing movements lately. Especially me as I have a slap tear in one shoulder that can really cause me grief. We’re both working our way up to new PR’s on the bench, but felt like we were being held back due to the pain. After doing a bit of research, Todd found the Sling Shot for bench and we knew we needed to give it a try.
So what is the Sling Shot? This video will help give you a little insight into how it works:
Basically, this little contraption is supposed to help reinforce proper bench form while alleviating shoulder pain by taking the tension away from your shoulders and not allowing your elbows to flare. Picking the right Sling Shot is a bit of a process – it is all based on bench max and body weight. I ended up with the Reactive Sling Shot which has a level 2 tension, supposedly allowing you to lift 5-10% more weight than your max. Todd has the Full Boar Sling Shot, which has a higher level of tension at 4, allowing you to lift 10-20% more than your max while training your CNS and providing moderate support for the pressing movements. Plus it fits his larger arms.
So what are our thoughts?
We’ve used it a couple of times now and it does seem to help with the pain that we both experience. I still have a sticking point in my bench, but that is part of the tear injury and I don’t know if I’ll ever have that go away, but the Sling Shot did help with the overall movement and did keep my form strong. Todd, not having an injury, said it definitely helped him and he felt no pain whatsoever.
There does seem to be some controversy among bodybuilders that using a Sling Shot for bench is somehow “cheating.” But to me, it is a tool. I’m not going to say my PR is 225 lbs using my Sling Shot. I’m going to give my unaided PR! This tool is allowing us to push harder and engage our muscles in a way that will help make them stronger. It is a training tool just like our wraps, our grips, or our occlusion bands.
Below is a video of us in action with our respective Sling Shots for Weight lifting: