For reasons explained in other posts and not relevant here, I am only doing now Push-Ups and Dumbbell Bent-Over Row (and Air Squats).

For the rows I use a nearly empty dumbbell for the moment. That is far from the ideal push-pull equilibrium. Relative to that, push-ups are a strong exercise: Playing a bit with a scale at home, I reached the conclusion that I was lifting 77% of my body weight at the bottom position of each push-up, and around 65% for an easy version with knees on the floor.

Therefore my question: can that be a problem for my shoulders? Which load should I aim for in the rows? Should I keep the pushups under a minimum? I don't want the next injury to be caused by muscular imbalance...

  • Ideally I should be doing Rear Delt rows, but that movement seems not comfortable for the moment, with my stiff neck. Bent overs involve the lats muscles very much, as opposed to rear delt rows.
    – Mephisto
    Commented Aug 10, 2013 at 0:16

1 Answer 1


I think you are over-thinking things too much. Yes, it's important to have equilibrium in your exercise, but understand the purpose:

  • It is to make sure your joints stay in proper alignment when at rest.

The weight I use for my rows is much lighter than my bench press. I make up for that fact by doing more reps with the rows than I do with the bench. For example, I may be benching in excess of 120kg and rowing with 55kg. The ratio isn't so important as it is the fact you are using the heaviest weight you can do for 20+ reps.

Since your routine is mostly body weight exercises, perhaps a better match would be inverted rows. Essentially you have a bar, desk, or table over you and you pull yourself up to it. If you can do pull ups, those would also be excellent additions to your routine.

  • Excellent (+1). That over-thinking comes from my fear of injuring myself again because of "fitness ignorance". The load ratio problem was puzzling me: very simple calculations show that is absurd to try lifting the same weight in Rear Delt Rows as in the Bench Press (bentovers are a different thing because of the relatively strong lats). Inverted and Rear Delt Rows don't go well now, because I can't keep under control the unconscious reflex to tighten my neck during the movement. Conversely, I manage the movement patter of bentovers since I did them years ago, and they are sort of instintive.
    – Mephisto
    Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 11:15

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