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Joint issues--shoulder and hip--workout advice needed!

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  • Joint issues--shoulder and hip--workout advice needed!

    Without going into too much of a long and boring story, I have been Paleo for about a year and a half. Over the summer, I seem to have reverted about half-way back to my old habits. I am trying to get back on track.

    I have had surgery on my left shoulder, I have a bone spur in my right shoulder and have a slight tear in cartilage in my hip (surgery not necessary at this point). And no! I am not 80! I am only 42!

    So, my question is this: Has anyone else with joint issues found a successful exercise plan? I would love to hear any and all advice! I do a lot of power walking--running is out of the question. I tried pullups/chin ups last week--they are just too hard on the shoulders. Squats and plank have been okay.

    I'm trying to figure out how to get more fit with lower-impact and almost basic exercises. I belong to a gym, have exercise equipment in my basement and I'll join the YMCA if swimming is reccomended! I used to do lots of spin classes, lots of weights, etc. I worked out with a trainer twice a week for the past 3 years, but the trainers at my current gym just aren't knowledgeable enough about my joint issues. I am trying to figure out this new way of looking at exercise while working around my joint issues. Thanks so much!

  • #2
    Have you tried bodyweight rows as an alternative to pullups? Might be a better joint angle for your shoulder. Have you noticed anything other than running that is too hard on the hip?
    Josh Vernier, CPT

    My Journal

    Evolution Revolution Fitness

    "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."

    -Ayn Rand


    • #3
      Originally posted by EvRevFit View Post
      Have you tried bodyweight rows as an alternative to pullups? Might be a better joint angle for your shoulder. Have you noticed anything other than running that is too hard on the hip?
      I will look into bodyweight rows. Thanks!
      As for the hip, yes, certain things the trainer would do with me--stepping up and down on a bench, anything one legged can annoy it. I basically have to try an exercise and see how it goes. I tried Pilates recently--not so bad on the hip, but killed my shoulders. It stinks because I love to go all out!


      • #4
        Try to do some Dynamic Joint Mobility (DJM). Good programs could be Intuflow (free on Youtube), Z-health (not free but quite similar), Ageless Mobility (DVD). They are designed to restore range of motion and improve joint health. The first 2 are 10-15 mins per day, head to toe, then you can redo any areas that get stiff during the day. Anyone could do them as they are very low intensity.

        Once mobility is restored, or at least improved, then look at some other form exercise to build up some strength and stamina. Trying to exercise too much with poor joint health is like riding a bike with badly aligned gears- sooner or later something is going to break.


        • #5
          Making sure to do equal or even more pull exercises in relation to push can be helpful. You can't have healthy shoulder and joint alignment if you have a stooped rounded shoulder posture with anterior head carriage. All of which tend to happen if you work at a desk OR if you just pound the chest exercises. You may very well need professional help with this sort of structural correction (chiropractor or PT), but give your workouts a try first.

          Finding the ROM that you can do without pain will be a work in progress, but you can do it. Once you do that watch your turnarounds....don't bounce out of your end ranges of motion, rather slow the movement down so that you never lose tension in your muscles. This will take some of the stress of the ligaments and cartilage, and is how I ALWAYS workout any body part. Personally I take at least a few seconds to slow my momentum and reverse path on the end ranges. Good luck!


          • #6
            I have a terrible shoulder (not much rotator cuff left), and I've been able to build up to a ton of strength over the years by focusing on good shoulder workouts that don't put me in awkward joint positions. For pull-ups, do bodyweight rows as suggested, and switch to a hammer grip for pull-ups, where your knuckles face each other. Also make sure you're doing resistance band rehab type shoulder work. For your hip, try foam rolling your IT bands. There's good info on the net of how to do this.