An injury or weakness, whether new or ongoing, need not be the reason we stop working out for fitness.

Obviously, we should be careful in our workout choices, but there are workarounds. Here are some of mine:

  • With bone on bone knees and arthritis in my lower back, I can’t run or even walk fast as when I was younger. But I can get on my treadmill every morning and walk for a mile or two with increasing speeds. The handlebars help.
  • The lower back pain makes crunches on the floor painful and ineffective. But I do planks and standing abdominal workouts with my medicine ball. See my prior post on this.

  • I have right shoulder rotator cuff soreness. This makes dumbbell curls or presses painful, but I can use Bullworker equipment for joint protection.

That covers most of my physical weaknesses, but my workarounds have been at least as effective as my prior workout modes. This can be done! But I have been working out for over 6 decades and newcomers may want to be especially careful with this. Personalized advice from a healthcare professional or certified trainer is always a good idea.

The remainder of this post will present ideas for other workarounds – what to avoid and what changes to make.

I will finish with some equipment choices.


Shoulder injury. with a shoulder injury, we may modify exercise movements that strain the shoulders. We can replace overhead presses with seated or incline presses, but we should start slowly even with these. Bullworkers protect our joints and give us isometric options.

Knee injury. We need to avoid exercises like squats or lunges that place direct pressure on the knees. Instead, we can focus on strengthening the muscles around the knees by doing calf raises, leg curls and light leg extensions.

Lower back pain. Those with lower back pain can modify exercises that strain the lower back, like deadlifts, bent over rows or crunches on the floor. We can try cable pulls, seated rows or hip thrusts. Or standing medicine ball twists.

Wrist pain. With wrist pain, we can choose exercises that don’t require strong gripping or pressure on our wrists. Instead of push-ups, we can try push-ups on our fists or push-up bars.

Ankle weakness. With ankle weakness, we can still do lower body movements like seated leg presses or hamstring curls. We can also try leg abduction or adduction with resistance bands.

Elbow injury. This affects our triceps training, so we need to avoid direct strain on our elbows, such as dips. We can still try triceps kickbacks or maybe overhead triceps extensions with light weights.

Neck pain. Weighted shrugs and heavy overhead presses will involve neck strain. We can focus on movements that strengthen the neck muscles without aggravation, such as gentle neck stretches or isometric neck exercises.


I use Bullworker products for strength building and joint protection. I do reps with isometric holds, but others do nothing but isometrics, since this involves no joint movement whatsoever.

See my recent post on the value of Bullworkers.

It is noteworthy that martial artist and movie star Bruce Lee developed his striking force as a young man by using Bullworkers.

This video shows a core workout with the Bullworker Bow Classic. I have done this routine and have also done the crunches from a seated position with my Steel Bow (for less back bending).

Check out my Bullworker link at the side of my website for complete information on all Bullworker products. Click on the red link.


I am an Amazon associate and customer. I use several of their products for strength building and cardio. As an associate, I may earn from activity on the links I display. These links will present full descriptions, pricing and suggestions for similar or complementary items.

Nordic Track treadmill. This is my primary source for cardio. I use the treadmill every morning before breakfast, for a mile or two. This model has lasted well for me with daily use.

Resistance bands with handles. My strength workouts are with Bullworkers or these resistance bands. Either will challenge me and protect my joints at the same time. I also use dumbbells, but not as much.

Loop resistance bands. I use these for physical therapy and sometimes use the extra heavy band for seated dumbbell curls. These are less than $8.

Medicine ball. I use a six pound medicine ball similar to this one for standing core twists for high reps. This has worked very well in my core routine.


Workouts are addictive for me at this point and I don’t miss one before breakfast unless I am bed ridden for some reason.

High reps and lighter resistances have replaced heavy bench presses and the like. I can attest that workarounds can be effective, since I use them every day. I do cardio, core exercise and physical therapy every day and include strength building every other day.

It is helpful to change our exercise routines periodically to avoid plateaus or burnout. I even vary the music I play when on my treadmill to avoid boredom.

Please leave me any comments or questions in the “Comments” section below. Or email me, richard@atmyworkoutathome.com.

Let’s stay active!


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