My left Levator Scapulae is tight like hell today (probably from incorrectly lifting a heavy gas bottle yesterday) and it is causing some undesirable effects. It is even noticeable in the mirror. I just came back from a doctor that has told me to avoid exercises involving that muscle, take a muscle relaxant and correct my posture. Additionally, I asked how long this may take, and the answer was: probably weeks or even months.

The question: what exercises can be done to still keep on working your upper body, at least up to some extent, that minimize involvement of the Levator Scapulae?

That was the general form of the question. Now, to add some detail, these are the exercises in my workout. I would like to change as little as possible:

  • Goblet Squat (which probably will have to be air squats now)
  • Push-Ups
  • One Arm Bent-Over Row
  • One Arm Shoulder Press (this is probably what must be substituted)
  • Wrist work (it was neg chin-ups, but I had to stop until strengthening my grip)

All in the pink light dumbbells and high reps range for the moment.

I have just came back from a tendonitis. I am working too in the problem of weak/painful wrists. And a few days ago I solved the problem of lower abdomen pain after doing air squats, by effective learning how to stretch the hip flexors. And now this new thing arises. My body is a crap... I really need to get it in shape, but the beginning is being very difficult...

  • 2
    Maybe you need to go to a really good yoga teacher for six months. It really, really sounds like you're having trouble directing your own training without hurting yourself. Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 13:59
  • You are probably right (+1), I need something similar to yoga to better self body awareness, flexibility and some mild strengthening before starting weightlifting. The problem is that yoga doesn't motivate me at all. Besides that I have little time and resources in this moment, I have to train at home. Any alternatives? (videos with gentle aerobic exercises and stretches perhaps?)
    – Mephisto
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 14:11
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    There are some (good) yoga beginner videos on Youtube, search for terms like 'yoga beginner 30 minute'. I myself think that the whole 'feel the energy flowing trough your body' is big mumbo jumbo, but you have to ignore those bits and use the positive elements (stretching, mobility, breath control) of those workouts. It might be best to talk about this in Physical Fitness Chat.
    – Baarn
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 14:17
  • I don't know how to move to chat. I don't seem to have the usual "would you like to move to chat?" message, and clicking in your link merely shows some chat page but no clue on how to write anything there.
    – Mephisto
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 14:20
  • 1
    If your problem persist it might be best to ask a question on Physical Fitness Meta, would be a better place to help than below a question.
    – Baarn
    Commented Aug 9, 2013 at 14:41

1 Answer 1


I would, too, advise to explore some gentle form of movement as Dave suggested earlier in his comment. If you are looking for motivation and a starting point, this might be a good one: http://grimmly2007.blogspot.hu/2009/06/developing-practice-part-23-then-and.html


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