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Safe to Train Lower Body While Resting Upper?


hi there, i had an mri done on my shoulder which revealed (mild) bursitis, a vertical tear in my bicep tendon at the shoulder, and bone spurs (also mild). pretty glad actually for that diagnosis, as i thought i had a rotator/labrum tear.
the doc said all were a product of not enough rest and overusage, and so recommended 6 weeks rest with PT 2 days a week, then said i should be back to normal.
my question is, can i train lower body while resting upper? and if so, would barbell squatting be alright? just looking for some opinions on this, and what others may do in my situation.


That’s a tough one, your shoulder is used for so much. It’s a tear at the shoulder too not the elbow so ouch. I would take one for the team and rest up.

You could prob bike and that would aid the recovery via increased blood flow. Running or rowing could aggravate the overuse injury, so biking would be optimal.

BB squats might be ok. Your pt would know better.


thanks homie. unfortunately with my health insurance i dont have access to a “sports” physical therapy facility, so im sure that my doctor would say just rest up as well. going to do some leg press tomorrow as well as some other machine assisted leg excercises. my plan is to shore up some weaker points that i otherwise wouldnt really target (altho i should) and work on my core.


Do what you can that doesn’t involve your shoulders. SSB Squats, Lunges, SSB good mornings, etc. Six weeks isn’t much in the grand spectrum of things.


i dont have access to a SSBar unfortunately :frowning2:


you might be able to front squat but I’d give back squatting a miss for sure.

you can do a ton of single leg stuff with dumbbells held at your side


really? i would think the front rack position would be more shoulder detrimental. whats your thoughts on deadlifts?


Honestly, I think both would be bad, considering where you are experiencing pain. It’s just six weeks, do as much as you can without hurting yourself more.


Deadlifts would prob be the single worst imo


alright thanks everyone for the feedback.:thumbsup:


I’m just a few months into rehab from biceps tendon repair and I trained legs about 4x a week the first month after my op. Exercise selection is key as a lot of leg work will stress your upper body. My advice is start light weight and high reps and experiment with different exercises until you find what works well.


like dchris said, it’d depend on where the pain is, but generally speaking back squats are actually really tough on your shoulders.

Front squats use far less shoulder. When you think about it, although the bar sits almost on top of them, it’s really your upper back that’s doing all the work. Your shoulders are pretty much just along for the ride (you can do front squats with your arms outstretched if you want).

Deadlifts may or may not be bad. Really, with shit like this it’s just a case of finding out what hurts, and not doing that.


yeah i did some super light squats and deadlifts (both 135lbs) the other day thinking it would be a ok and i woke up the next morning with slight pain in my shoulder affected area. so if anything else ill prob try some leg press and other machine assisted exercises.