We all know that exercise is important, but for those with pain or injuries, it can be very difficult to safely stay fit. And for athletes and avid exercisers, inactivity is not an option. Next time you go to the gym, try one of these helpful exercise alternatives.

If you have lower back pain…

Try back squats instead of front squats. Squats can cause excess pressure on the back if done improperly, and back squats can add to pain. As opposed to placing the barbell on the upper back during back squats, front squats involve placing the barbell in front resting on the shoulders

If you have hip pain…

Modify your lunges to place less stress on the hips. Lunges, even when performed correctly, can stretch the hip flexor area. For those with hip pain, this can aggravate the preexisting condition. Try holding a bench or chair when you lunge to place less weight on the hips. You can also step up onto a higher surface or incline to lessen the strain on your hips.

If you have shoulder pain…

During chest presses, make sure your elbows move only slightly past shoulder level while lying on your back. It is common chest press technique to allow the elbows to descend so that they move past the level of the bench, letting the barbell touch the chest. But this extreme of motion can be very harmful to those who already deal with shoulder pain. You can make this lowering modification for the machine chest press as well.

If you have wrist pain…

Use dumbbells during push-ups instead of placing hands flat on the floor. By grasping the handles of barbells, you are allowing your wrists to remain straight as opposed to bent during traditional push-ups. You can add a towel over the dumbbell handles for extra padding if this modification hurts your palms.

For exercise modifications for those with knee pain, check out our recent blog.

Remember to consult with your physician before beginning any exercise routine, especially if you are already prone to pain and injury.

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