Should a person with shoulder problems being doing TRX planks and pushups on TRX with feet in handles, etc?
William Turner (New York, NY) on Nov 14, 2011
The TRX is a suspension device which utilizes the weight of the entire body against gravity. It's not a good idea to use any device where the shoulder joint may be compromised, especially if suspended or overloaded with weight. I'd highly suggest using precautionary measures before conducting this physical activity. Wil Turner Fitness Health and Wellness Specialist
Melissa Erliech (Lakemoor, IL) on Nov 14, 2011
You didn't mention whether you experience any pain when performing those TRX exercises. If there is any pain involved, then you should absolutely NOT be doing those exercises. Exercises on the TRX are easily modified based on fitness level and physical limitations. If you are seeing a physical therapist for your shoulder issues, then you should ask them what their professional advice is.
Linda Copeland (Dunkirk, MD) on Nov 14, 2011
This really depends on the person and the situation. However, my trainer's intuition tells me that you're asking this question because you're being asked to do these things (in a class? by your trainer?) and you don't want to do them... maybe it just doesn't feel right to you. If that's the case, trust your intuition. Not every TRX exercise is good for everybody, and especially in a class setting, the workout is designed for the majority, not one specific individual. If you don't feel comfortable doing these, please talk to your trainer about it. They should be able to provide a modification for you. The logical substitutes would be a plank on the floor and push-ups on the floor. If you can't even do those without pain, you should not even attempt to add instability (the TRX) to the mix, at least where your shoulders are concerned. (You might be fine with all of the TRX exercises except these two, so don't throw the baby out with the bath water.) In this case, I would substitute different exercises for the same body areas, such as crunches and wall push-ups, if you can do those without pain. If you can do plank and push-ups on the floor just fine, and your trainer has moved you to using the TRX, you WILL have some learning curve / discomfort using the TRX initially, because you're going from a stable surface to an unstable one, and your shoulders are required to do more work to keep you stable with your feet in the TRX. You should feel a bit wobbly at first, until your body adapts to the exercise. Wobbly is one thing, though, and pain is another. If you are feeling pain in your shoulders, that's your body's way of saying, "Hey! don't do that!" So don't do that. I'd also suggest seeing a physical therapist for some guidelines on therapeutic exercise specific to your situation (what to do/ what NOT to do), even if you have to pay out of pocket for a session or two. We personal trainers are not medical professionals. You may need more expert advice for your situation. "Shoulder problems" is a catch-all term, but without a specific diagnosis, it is impossible to tell you what is OK to do and what you should avoid. You need an informed medical opinion. The TRX is a great exercise modality, and, used properly, it can help you work the stabilizer muscles in your shoulders, and elsewhere. It sounds like your shoulders may need to take it a little slower with the TRX than you have been. Trust your body's wisdom. Good luck!
James Weaver (Milford, CT) on Nov 14, 2011
No I would not recommend that you train on the TRX with shoulder problems. If you have shoulder problems then you need to do rehabilitation exercises that are low impact. I strongly recommend you check with your doctor first. TRX is a great thing to use, but not if you have shoulder problems. I would not do specific shoulder exercises and I would lower the intensity levels in your exercise routines that involve your upper body, as you use your shoulders in all upper body exercises.
Bill Ross (Littleton, CO) on Nov 14, 2011
If you have weak shoulders, I would not perform TRX planks and pushups until you have rehabilitated your shoulders to full strength.
Halle Clarke (New York, NY) on Nov 14, 2011
The TRX planks and pushups require an incredible amount of scapular stabilization. Shoulder injury almost inevitably involves the rotator cuff muscles. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles that act as a muscular joint capsule for the shoulder. I would most definitely NOT recommend doing any TRX work until the shoulder has healed and has been trained in safer settings. Pilates is a great setting for shoulder rehab. In a Pilates studio the shoulder can be worked in isolation to strengthen its intrinsic muscles, as well as in relation to the whole body.
Michael Rosengart (Los Angeles, CA) on Dec 7, 2011
If some one has shoulder problems, that should be addressed first before introducing exercises on unstable surfaces. Mobility and strength through primitive movements should be first on the list before adding complexity. If weaknesses are not addressed, then the body will find ways to compensate.