T Nation

One-Armed Man, Help With Recovery

Today I got the news I’ve been both excited for and dreading… I have a date for arthroscopic shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum (and God knows what else)next month. The standard recovery is 3-6 weeks in a sling, and 20-24 total weeks before it’s ready for “maximal stress”, which means I’m basically out of luck for this football season.

The point is, what can I do to prep myself for this, and what can I do while I’m layed up? I’m already trying out various things that I could do with the arm in a sling, and I was wondering if anyone else has been in a situation where they had an arm immobilized, and how did they manage to train the rest of the body?

Going a bit further, would I be doing any damage by training my left "non-surgery) side as hard as I would normally, or does this really lead to the dreaded imbalances?

Countdown is on… 34 days

I have a labral tear, but it’s not bad enough to necessitate surgery at this point (I can’t throw a ball anymore, and I have shoulder pain off/on, but I can work around it). A friend of mine who is a PT recommended surgery only if the pain was bad enough to keep me up at night. On nights when it does bother me, I can ice it and take Aleve, and I’ll be fine.

So just be sure you NEED the surgery at this point.

Otherwise, definitely train the other arm and the rest of the body the best that you can. Research has shown that by training the uninjured limb, it can help keep strength in size, even in your injured area!!! So by all means, do curls, presses and the such with your good arm, and don’t neglect the legs.

Good luck to you! Hopefully, you’ll have a speedy recovery! Do whatever you can to recover quicker (supplements, PT, etc.).

Dan John wrote an article with lots of one-armed exercises (real manmakers, too, not some BS wimpy stuff). The title escapes me at the moment. Look in the ‘Authors’ section of the Article Library.

Title of the articel is “The One Dumbbell workout.” And I couldn’t remember the title why? Never mind, don’t answer that.

Thanks… In response to Nate, I play university football, so the surgery is necessary if I want to keep playing. I’ve dealt with the problem for 2+ years, and by the end of this past season my shoulder was subluxing 2-3x a game. As an o-lineman this was even worse, as I lost any ability to punch and lock out with my right arm… basically, if someone swatted the outstreched arm, it would sublux.

As far as legs, I figure I can do GHRs, one leg squats, seated ham curls, wall sits, sissy squats with the foot attachment (does this thing have a name?). For the fiorst little while I have to do things that don’t involve a lot of explosion, as the arm in the sling won’t like that. I did read "The One-Dumbell Workout’, but that will be a little farther down the road.

As a side note, let me just say that Dan John RULES.