Shoulder pain got you down? That’s a bummer, but it’s also not an excuse to skip the gym (unless it’s really bad, of course, in which case you should consult a doctor). Instead of resigning yourself to a tank-top-free life, swap out painful exercises for these safer ones.
Instead of chest presses, try push-ups. Chest presses are great for working your pectoral muscles—unless you have shoulder issues. Instead, do push-ups (either regular or on your knees), which strengthen shoulder-stabilizing muscles and allow your shoulder blades to move freely (which they can’t in a bench-press position). Repeat for one minute.
Instead of overhead presses, try front raises. Pushing dumbbells over your head hurts. To tone your shoulders without pain, try front raises. Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing the floor, and slowly raise your arms until they’re at a 90-degree angle from your body. Reverse the move to lower the weights to the starting position; repeat for 12 reps.
Instead of boxing, try rowing. We love a good boxing sesh, but punching in different directions, plus the impact of hitting a bag, can hurt. For more shoulder-friendly cardio, hop onto an indoor rowing machine. While rowing, most of your power comes from your legs, so your shoulders aren’t overworked but they are engaged. Try alternating one minute of hard pushes with one minute of rest pushes (perfect form but less pressure) for 15 minutes.
Instead of triceps bench dips, try triceps push-ups. Bench dips put a ton of pressure on your shoulders and aren’t a great option regardless of shoulder pain. To better target your triceps, try triceps push-ups. Get into a normal push-up position (again, regular or modified), but keep your hands closer together as you lower your chest to the ground so your arms and elbows are zipped into your sides. Repeat for one minute.