Chest Work with a Shattered Elbow

Hey everyone,

About a year ago I was hit by a drunk driver which ended up shattering part of my elbow. Physical therapy was mostly a success (I’ll never be “100%” recovered- I have lost some flexion of my arm and it can’t bear as much weight).

Compared to what could have happened and how poorly I could have recovered, I am in excellent condition! I am able to do pushups and some other bodyweight exercises on my elbow. However, I am unable to do heavy bench presses like I used to, which has put a serious damper on my upper body pushing progress.

I can rep out 135-155 lbs on the flat bench, but much more than that causes it to grind and can be painful. I have not had any problems with the incline bench or push press. I mostly have problems with flat bench exercises and some dumbbell movements.

AS much as I hate machines, they seem to be easy on the elbow and don’t cause pain, so I have begrudgingly been using some machines.

Do you guys have any recommendations for exercises/programming I can use to help boost my chest? Raw strength isn’t as important to me any more ( I have faced that reality :), but I am in the army and do want to maintain endurance and keep size to match the rest of my frame. Any tips?

I appreciate the help.

Search my posts and you’ll find my injury and recovery thread for my elbow plus some comments on other threads concerning my training reality. If it hurts don’t do it because you will literally be working to reduce your range of motion even more.