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What happens if you only train arms? (Upper body training)

Mellouk89Mellouk89 Member Posts: 75 Member Member Posts: 75 Member
Because of a chronic shoulder injury I only train arms along with squats and other lower body exercises. What happens if my arms get too big for the rest of my upper body? Is it bad in the long run? Can it increase the risk of injury?

Eventually I will train the rest of my upper body but i'm still recovering.

Replies

  • JthanmyfitnesspalJthanmyfitnesspal Member, Premium Posts: 2,395 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,395 Member
    Consult a PT and/or sports medicine doc.

    But: In weightlifting, nothing happens all that quickly.
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Member Posts: 8,437 Member Member Posts: 8,437 Member
    What you are doing is reasonable.

    I'd hazard there is more options than just squats. Including specific shoulder work that would enhance the rehab process and decrease risk of reoccurance of the injury. I encourage you to seek evidence and experienced people that can help you.

    I specifically don't train arms directly because they have a sensitive response to stimulus and grow like weeds. So just manage your volume and you will be fine.
  • Mellouk89Mellouk89 Member Posts: 75 Member Member Posts: 75 Member
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    What you are doing is reasonable.

    I'd hazard there is more options than just squats. Including specific shoulder work that would enhance the rehab process and decrease risk of reoccurance of the injury. I encourage you to seek evidence and experienced people that can help you.

    I specifically don't train arms directly because they have a sensitive response to stimulus and grow like weeds. So just manage your volume and you will be fine.

    Yes that's what i'm doing, I just quit a job that was physically demanding so I can recover and get back in shape. I'm consulting a specialist that has worked with athletes, but it might takes months or a year to recover. But in the mean time i'm just wondering if it's a problem that I only train arms? I lifted weights for almost 10 years before I got injured, so I think my arms could grow pretty quickly because of muscle memory.
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Member Posts: 8,437 Member Member Posts: 8,437 Member
    Mellouk89 wrote: »
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    What you are doing is reasonable.

    I'd hazard there is more options than just squats. Including specific shoulder work that would enhance the rehab process and decrease risk of reoccurance of the injury. I encourage you to seek evidence and experienced people that can help you.

    I specifically don't train arms directly because they have a sensitive response to stimulus and grow like weeds. So just manage your volume and you will be fine.

    Yes that's what i'm doing, I just quit a job that was physically demanding so I can recover and get back in shape. I'm consulting a specialist that has worked with athletes, but it might takes months or a year to recover. But in the mean time i'm just wondering if it's a problem that I only train arms? I lifted weights for almost 10 years before I got injured, so I think my arms could grow pretty quickly because of muscle memory.

    I'm sorry I read you trained squats also.

    My choice would be to find ways to train legs, back, shoulders, core, etc...

    Maybe you can give more details of why you can't train legs, back, etc...
    Also what equipment you have available would be needed.

    edited July 13
  • Mellouk89Mellouk89 Member Posts: 75 Member Member Posts: 75 Member
    Oh yes I do squats I meant I only train arms as far as upper body training, sorry for the confusion. I train at a gym I have access to everything I need. I did abs for the first time in years and my abs were sore for three days :D . But if you train back doesn't that involve your shoulders as well? For rehab i'm doing front raises, lateral raises and rear delts with very light weights so i'm not going to build muscles with that.
    edited July 13
  • Clive_1963Clive_1963 Member Posts: 53 Member Member Posts: 53 Member
    Mellouk89 wrote: »
    Because of a chronic shoulder injury I only train arms along with squats and other lower body exercises. What happens if my arms get too big for the rest of my upper body? Is it bad in the long run? Can it increase the risk of injury?

    Eventually I will train the rest of my upper body but i'm still recovering.

    I train what I can and too suffer from shoulder issues, chronic bursitis in both shoulders and tennis elbows in both elbows, no matter how many injections I have they always comeback. On top of that I have real bad whiplash (35 years now) and a bad right knee after a bad motorbike accident.
    I train at a sport school run by a physiotherapist so do kind of physio fitness and they keep an eye on everything I do. Shoulders are hard for me to train as currently the left one stops me raising my arm above my head without severe pain.

    I still manage to train upper body and legs. Planks are great for core fitness and doable with all my issues ;-)

  • Mellouk89Mellouk89 Member Posts: 75 Member Member Posts: 75 Member
    That's encouraging, i'm just really paranoid about getting reinjured :D . I need to overcome my fears.
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Member Posts: 8,437 Member Member Posts: 8,437 Member
    Mellouk89 wrote: »
    Oh yes I do squats I meant I only train arms as far as upper body training, sorry for the confusion. I train at a gym I have access to everything I need. I did abs for the first time in years and my abs were sore for three days :D . But if you train back doesn't that involve your shoulders as well? For rehab i'm doing front raises, lateral raises and rear delts with very light weights so i'm not going to build muscles with that.

    Yes in the traditional sense but there are always work arounds and just because we have a injury, doesn't mean we exclude that part of the body by default. We certainly will would look at lower intensity, ROM, or a variation of movement.

    Of course the specifics of your injury will dictate what is appropriate.

    By no means am I suggesting what is appropriate for you, I'll leave that up to your medical professional and trainer. In some cases a person might be able to do a SSB good morning, a lower ROM deadlift e.g.b block pull, or chest supported row, etc...

    Low intensity doesn't mean you can"t achieve hypertrophy. Current evidence suggests we can build muscle in a wide variety of rep and intensity ranges. 30% of a e1rm can achieve hypertrophy if programmed correctly.

    I wish you good luck with your training :).



    edited July 14
  • sgt1372sgt1372 Member Posts: 3,596 Member Member Posts: 3,596 Member
    Mellouk89 wrote: »
    Because of a chronic shoulder injury I only train arms along with squats and other lower body exercises.

    What happens if my arms get too big for the rest of my upper body? .

    I don't think this is a realistic concern.

    What are you doing to train your arms?

    Bicep curls, wrist flexion/extension/rollups and tricep kickbacks are about all you can do to train your arms w/o involving your shoulders and, if you are worried about injuring yourself, you shouldn't be doing any of these exercises (especially bicep curls) w/excessive weight.

    So, the likelihood that your arms will get "too big" for the rest of your upper body before you can start working out w/your shoulders again.

    Just keep the wts light/moderate and you should not have any problems.

  • Mellouk89Mellouk89 Member Posts: 75 Member Member Posts: 75 Member
    I'm doing barbell curls with moderate weight right now and I don't feel any negative effects on my shoulders. I also do dumbbell skull crushers and hammer curls. I only really feel pain and discomfort when I train chest and shoulders. And it usually goes away the next day. I think it's more psychological than anything. I just want to wait until i'm fully recovered to train the rest of my upper body. I don't want to take any chances.
    edited July 15
  • Mellouk89Mellouk89 Member Posts: 75 Member Member Posts: 75 Member
    Also like I mentioned I lifted weights in the past it wouldn't be so hard to gain back muscle mass due to muscle memory. I already gained 0.6 inches on my arms in 6 weeks and i'm only 3lbs heavier as far as bodyweight.
    edited July 15
  • unforgettable2010unforgettable2010 Member Posts: 101 Member Member Posts: 101 Member
    I had a slight tear in my rotator a few years back. I couldn’t train shoulders for a while, but I would train other upper body groups. I just stayed mindful to start light and test the waters before going heavier. Anytime I felt even the slightest pain, I lightened the weight. But I also kept the mindset of very high reps if I was going light. Hope things workout for you.
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