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Some people have been experiencing shoulder pain for so long, they stop believing anything better is in the cards for them. Maybe it’s just a few machines at best from here on out. This workout could be the one that changes your mind about what you’re capable of—and how you can keep lifting safely for years to come.
It’s an upper-body-focused free-weights workout from elite strength coach and doctor of physical therapy John Rusin, a specialist in pain-free training. You’ll perform the best shoulder-friendly press and row variations, but with enough intensity to build muscle and strength and get a serious muscle pump. If you’ve been wishing for a workout that was worth your pre-workout but wouldn’t leave you in the bad kind of pain afterward, you’ve found it.
This workout is built around principles of pain-free training you can find in the Unstoppable guides to training through back, shoulder, and knee pain. In the full version of Unstoppable: The Ultimate Guide to Training Through Injury in BodyFit, you can see in-depth movement guides to help you apply these lessons to a wide range of workouts.
Here’s what else you need to know to get maximum benefit out of this workout.
- Watch the full video workout playlist, if possible. There are tons of great movement-specific cues in each video, plus ideas about how to dial back or dial up intensity.
- The warm-up looks like a lot on paper, but it should take no longer than 8-10 minutes to perform, and it will make every movement that comes after it both stronger and safer.
- Dial back this workout’s volume based on your experience level, but perform the recommended warm-up or ramp-up sets before your working sets.
- Feel free to incorporate elements of this workout into other programs you may be following. If the only thing you take away from this workout is the warm-up routine, that could still be enough to change your lifting life!
Workout Video Playlist
To view the complete playlist of videos from the workout, first click play to start the video. Then click the small rectangle icon near the lower right of the player screen to see the full list of the other videos.
Alternately, if you want to watch the entire workout, just click the play button and the videos will auto-play.
Love lifting heavy? Take care of your joints so you can keep coming back for years.