How to Exercise With a Shoulder Injury

Ben Greenfield
2-minute read

Quick Tip: Stay Fit With a Shoulder Injury

It’s an all-too-common scenario – you get inspired about a new exercise program, you excitedly launch into the first series of workouts, and within a week you’re laid up with a sore back, injured knee, aggravated shoulder or inflamed foot.

But there’s no reason that you have to lose fitness and gain weight when you’re injured. Many of the athletes and clients who I train find that they are more fit after rehabilitating an injury because they get a chance to try new forms of training during the healing period. Here is an example of a workout for shoulder injuries (most exercises can be viewed at www.pacificfit.net/exercises):

Shoulder Injury Workout:

Complete the following mini-circuits 5x through every day for three days. do #1 on Day 1, #2 on Day 2, #3 on Day 3. Take one day rest, then repeat.

Mini-Circuit 1:

  • 2 minute bicycle at 100%

  • 20 Barbell Squats

  • 20 Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts

Mini-Circuit 2:

  • 2 minute elliptical at 100%

  • 20 Incline Crunches

  • 20 Low Back Extensions

Mini-Circuit 3:

  • 2 minute treadmill at 100%

  • 20 Lunge Jumps

  • 20 Horizontal Jumps

To find out how to adapt your workout routine for other injuries, please check out my Quick Tips for ankle or foot injuries, knee injuries, and low back injuries.

If you're dealing with a chronic or acute injury, I'm always happy to network with your physician and, with their input, design a customized exercise program for you to help you stay in the best shape possible.

Quick & Dirty Tip: You should not consider this to be medical advice, and you should follow a physician’s recommendation for movement about an injured joint. However, if your doctor tells you to simply rest for 2-4 weeks, you need to specifically ask them about alternatives to that  all-too-common prescription. There's no reason that you can't stay in lean and fit while rehabilitating!

Shoulder injury image courtesy of Shutterstock

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.