About 10 days ago I started feeling a strong pain in my right forearm in certain movements. I consulted the doctor and he said it's presumably a stretched tendon, the expected healing time is up to one month, and that I should avoid exercises that involve forearm stress at this time.

As I mentioned, it's noticeable only in certain movements and in the gym I faced it only in shoulder training. However, I prefer to avoid the risk and follow his orders. My question is which upper body exercises may be considered "not putting stress on the forearm", if it even exists. For example, I thought at first that bench press may fit in when done with moderate weight (10-12RM), but in the end of the concentric part of the move I do stretch the forearm.

Any idea for such exercises?

  • Given the injury description you’ve provided, in my opinion, exercise prescription (from someone on this site) is inappropriate. There’s no way for us to know your level of pain tolerance, or, the full extent of your injury. Given that, I believe your best course of action is to work with a certified personal trainer, or, therapist who can guide you through your training without risk of further injury.
    – rrirower
    Jan 7, 2016 at 13:22
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    Let me be more precise: I'm not looking for a medical advice because I've already gotten one, which is what I wrote above: "Do exercises that don't put serious stress on the forearms". What I'm looking for is exercises that fit the description above, and of course I'll perform them in high caution after considering them carefully. In fact I did 3 workouts after the injury before realizing it's an injury and not just soreness, and moreover, it's not restricting my functioning, therefore I think this question fits in this community. Jan 7, 2016 at 13:32
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    I agree that your question fits this site. However, I think you're better off working this out on your own. What happens if someone suggests an exercise that you cannot perform due to pain? Or, an exercise that's contraindicated for your injury?
    – rrirower
    Jan 7, 2016 at 13:37
  • I wish to learn from people who have gone through the same type of injury. If I cannot perform an exercise then I wouldn't, but I'm sure guidance can help in this case. Jan 7, 2016 at 13:42
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    Voting to keep open, as the question is about exercises that don't stress the forearm. It is not a question about medical advice.
    – Alec
    Jan 8, 2016 at 9:31

3 Answers 3


To avoid stretching of the forearm, you should also try to avoid extension of the wrist under load. When performing most upper-body exercises, it's important to maintain straight wrists (regardless of injury or not). Wrist wraps can help a great deal with maintaining a straight wrist while performing a pressing movement. If holding something heavy for a moderate amount of time also causes pain, then wrist straps will also help remove some of the stress from your forearms.

As long as you can keep your wrists straight, most upper-body exercises should be fair game. Back exercises (rows, pulldowns, etc) are easy to maintain a straight wrist (and using wrist straps if necessary). Flyes (cable or dumbbell) are another good contender, as the weight is generally low enough that keeping a straight wrist isn't very challenging. Dumbbell bench (or shoulder) press may also be easier on your forearms than the barbell.


There are a plethora of exercises one can do. If your knowledge of possibles is scant, I suggest you look at free apps like iMuscle 2 or others freely available at no cost. Discover what exercises use which parts of the anatomy, you will be able to work-out no matter what part is giving trouble. David, Cornwall U.K


Just from thinking about it here are some recommendations:

  • Weighted Push-ups on knuckles (as regular ones would cause a stretch of the forearm)
  • sitting shoulder machines where you don´t have to grip a handle (ex. lateral raises)
  • Zercher Deadlifts

get well soon ...

  • OP asked for upper body exercises, most of these are not
    – Aequitas
    Jan 8, 2016 at 1:36
  • :-) ... corrected answer, slipped that part.
    – mitro
    Jan 8, 2016 at 5:18

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