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Workout Ideas after AC Joint Repair

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I was trail riding in August 2015 and slipped on a hill climb which resulted in a 3rd degree shoulder separation. Two weeks later I had surgery to repair it. After 12 weeks of physical therapy, my doctor cleared me for normal activities. This was right before Thanksgiving and I didn't exercise at all through Christmas. When I was done at rehab, I had 90-95% range of motion and could generally lift 2 lb weights and about 10 lb rows. I thought I'd get some general strength back by daily living but it doesn't appear that way with my desk job. I've been back to the gym but I'm at a loss for a workout. I can use all of the cardio equipment but I can't use any of the free weights or machines since the minimum weight is generally too much. Does anyone have any workout ideas? Should I keep working my injured shoulder similar to my rehab exercises until I can lift enough weight that I can do a typical workout?

Also, any recommendation on "no pain, no gain"? I'm used to lifting weights so there will be some soreness but at therapy, they had me stop if there was any pain. Should I crank up the effort? Just test the water to make sure it's not really sore the next day?

Thanks in advance for any advice. I'm at beginner level at the gym and my shoulder injury has me stalled on ideas. I really want to be back on the bike this spring. My goal this year is to get back into trail riding and maybe race haresrambles or enduros this fall.

Thanks,

Stacy

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You'll want to first and foremost incorporate a stretching program into your program.. Next, make sure you warm up. Get that blood flow through the muscle tissue. Next, begin with endurance training to prepare those recovered fibers for the demand that will eventually be placed on it... Light weight, moderate to high repetitions (15-20 reps). At a slow tempo. Either a 4sec essentric, 2sec isometric, 1sec concentric action. Or a 3sec essentric, 0 isometric, 3sec concentric action. You'll perform 2-3 sets of each exercise.. Start with this.. You'll want to keep in mind that stability in your shoulders will need to be addressed.. Use equipment that allows proprioceptive properties to be achieved..

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As far as the, "no pain, no gain" concept is concerned... That's is a bunch of sh!+.. You need train smarter not harder.. If it hurts such as pain, you need to back off.. And approach an exercise a different route.. If free weights hurt, regress to a resistance band..being physically exhausted and feeling physical pain are two different feelings

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You definitely want to keep up with your strength work for your shoulders - especially the stability muscles (which you have been developing at PT).  When you go to the gym, you can go into the free weight room area and grab a 2.5 or 5 pound plate (for the bench or squat rack) and lay back on a fit ball and complete the same range of motion work.  I would also strongly suggest getting into a qualified massage therapist so that you can differentiate between "good and bad" pain in the shoulder joint.  Please let me know if you have any questions or need anything clarified.  

-Coach Robb 

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