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Bodyweight Broken wing - Single arm pull-ups??

Kto78

Level 2 Valued Member
So I’m about to undergo a rotator cuff repair to one of my shoulders.

I have laid off pull-ups for ages because of this injury.

Perhaps I’m biting off more than I can chew.

I was thinking about one arm pull-ups with the other arm.

My previous strict dead hang was 10 reps. I have previously 50+ reps in a workout in multiple sets starting at 8reps. My pull-up strength will have degraded but overall I’m in good shape training kettlebells x3 week.

Any thoughts? Am I stupid?
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
So I’m about to undergo a rotator cuff repair to one of my shoulders.

I have laid off pull-ups for ages because of this injury.

Perhaps I’m biting off more than I can chew.

I was thinking about one arm pull-ups with the other arm.

My previous strict dead hang was 10 reps. I have previously 50+ reps in a workout in multiple sets starting at 8reps. My pull-up strength will have degraded but overall I’m in good shape training kettlebells x3 week.

Any thoughts? Am I stupid?
Job #1 is recovering from your surgery. No need to think beyond that, IMHO.

10 RM @ bodyweight is not likely to get you a 1APU.

-S-
 

Kto78

Level 2 Valued Member
Thanks both and appreciate the honesty. I’m very motivated to recover well from surgery , I just thought about some other goalz I could slowly work towards while I did the boring rehab stuff.
 

Abishai

Level 5 Valued Member
So I’m about to undergo a rotator cuff repair to one of my shoulders.

I have laid off pull-ups for ages because of this injury.

Perhaps I’m biting off more than I can chew.

I was thinking about one arm pull-ups with the other arm.

My previous strict dead hang was 10 reps. I have previously 50+ reps in a workout in multiple sets starting at 8reps. My pull-up strength will have degraded but overall I’m in good shape training kettlebells x3 week.

Any thoughts? Am I stupid?
One arm pullups is very hard on the joints....You are asking for tendonits if you have not done the proper foundational work..
 

GreenSoup

Level 6 Valued Member
Kto78 one armed pullups are an elite move. If you can hang a suspension trainer or adjustable length rings you can practice fairly easy OAP work and gradually build up from there. To start keep your heels on the floor, flex at the hips so your hip joint, shoulder joint, straight arm, hand, and the ring's strap are all in one line, and then pull. The higher the ring, the closer you will be to fully standing and the easier it will be. The lower the ring, the more you will have the jackknife position and the harder it will be. This may also be a good way to strengthen the side with the surgery when medical approval comes for it.

When talking about the upcoming surgery with your medical team, ask what you can do with your healthy side and the kind of exercises you hope to be working on while the other side's ERC recovers. They might say things like "that will stretch the hell out of your surgical site so don't even try that exercise plan for X weeks" so see what the best recovery option looks like. Things that happen on one side can affect the other, especially if trying out a move that can become difficult like the OAP. Even leg work might not be what they want for you in your first surgical recovery week or weeks, odd as that may sound at first.

It's not that every doctor is right about exercise restrictions but it's better to play it safe.
 

lais817

Level 5 Valued Member
So I’m about to undergo a rotator cuff repair to one of my shoulders.

I have laid off pull-ups for ages because of this injury.

Perhaps I’m biting off more than I can chew.

I was thinking about one arm pull-ups with the other arm.

My previous strict dead hang was 10 reps. I have previously 50+ reps in a workout in multiple sets starting at 8reps. My pull-up strength will have degraded but overall I’m in good shape training kettlebells x3 week.

Any thoughts? Am I stupid?
If your Dr clears it, why not one arm pushups? More realistic goal perhaps?
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I just thought about some other goalz I could slowly work towards while I did the boring rehab stuff.

I quote our friend @Dan John - the goal is to keep the goal the goal. The goal of shoulder rehab - any rehab - is to return to normal, as in being able to raise your hand when you have a question to ask. :) I'll tell you my shoulder story:

A few years ago, I suffered from serious overuse injuries in both shoulders. My favorite shoulder exercises at the time, pressing kettlebells and weighted pullups, were simply out of the question. I was fortunate - no need for surgery. I spent at least a year, probably more like 1-1/2 years, doing qigong because its gentle movements were what I could tolerate. Every once in a while, I'd try a light kettlebell press. And slowly, I got better.

Now that's not very dramatic or inspiring or anything like that, but it's what I needed, so it's what I did because I wanted to be able to press again and, heck, I've even learned to bench press since then and, rather miraculously in my own not-so-humble opinion, I've learned to bench press in a way that makes my shoulders feel better afterward - I think it has to do with opening my t-spine and other postural considerations, but whatever the case, I'm happy that I kept my goal, the goal.

Do the boring stuff, make sure it goes well, and when you can hold both hands over your head to signal a touchdown like an American football referee with out pain, come on back here and we'll talk other goalz.

Just my opinion and your mileage may vary.

-S-
 

grumpyoldman

Level 4 Valued Member
I had to lay off pull-ups this winter due to a hand injury. I could just about hang from the bar with the other hand and twitch my shoulder blade a bit (aka "scap pull-ups"), no more. I was able to do the easiest regression of one-armed horizontal rows and elevated push-ups. My max before the hand injury was 11 bodyweight pull-ups.
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
When I had my shoulder surgery, (labrum) there was plenty of stuff to do just in the physiotherapy rehab alone without adding highly risky activities. (That could put your good shoulder in jeopardy)
I don’t want to be an alarmist, but I took almost a full year to get back to snuff. Seemed like it was never going to end at the time, but now, almost 10 years later it seems inconsequential.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
Shoulder surgery here too.

My two cents is to take it day by day and do what you can tolerate once you have the surgery done. As others have said, #1 priority is return to normal. It’s easy to get impatient and try all kinds of stuff ahead of time but it’s honestly probably not worth the risk.

Depending on what specific procedure you have done, at some point rows will likely be something you’re doing. I did a ton of them once my shoulder was cleared for it. Now I question whether the emphasis I put on my upper back contributed to issues I currently have.

I would avoid doing anything that might give you overuse injuries on your good side. Having dealt with a semi-functional right arm for a number years (not all due to surgery -long story-is basically normal now) it really sucks to injure the good side when you can’t really use the “not as good” side. Being conservative is the best bet. Just get some jacked legs ;) and/or always err on the side of caution.
 
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