Reply To: How to Strengthen Shoulder with previous injury

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Robby Taylor

Well most obviously be very careful here. I would say spend more time with bridging exercises rather than handstand practice. Headstands can still be useful but I think bridging exercises will be more beneficial. Work your way to a full bridge. Of course, I am not sure how sensitive your shoulder is so even though these exercises will put substantially less strain on the shoulder than the handstand you must still be very cautious. I would also suggest to you that, in doing any pushing exercise (or pulling exercise, even) focus on doing slow, very controlled negatives. This should help reinforce shoulder integrity in your situation. So if you would normally do, for example, 20 push ups at a regular pace, do 12-15 with slow negatives; those 12-15 should be as exhausting as the original 20. Once you get very comfortable with push ups again, and are making good progress on the bridge, you may want to start practicing pike push ups. Simply holding the top position of this will simulate a handstand, only with much less resistance.

Lastly, you may want to consider working on the twist hold progressions found in Convict Conditioning 2. It doesn’t really matter if you have to stick to one of the easier progressions, if that progression gives you some relief or remedial benefits to your injury it is worthwhile.