Due to an injury I have a partial paralysis in my left arm, both shoulder and elbow.

This means I cannot do most of the upper body exercises. The only things I can do are single handed (dumbbell/machine) ones- biceps curl, triceps extension, shoulder press, chest press, etc. I can grip stuff but I cannot lift any weight.

I want to focus on my core and legs. For the upper body, I want to bulk up a bit on shoulders, biceps and triceps so that cuts are visible but not too much as the asymmetry will look very ugly.

As per the BMI machine, I need to loose 4.9 kg fat and gain 2.5 kg muscle. (I'm 63 kg, 169cm)

I need to make up my exercise routine for 4 days a week, especially on specifically which core exercises I should do and how much cardio.

  • Are you still able to grab stuff with your hand? Like, could you do a cable fly?
    – MJB
    Mar 21, 2018 at 8:36
  • Just to add to @MJB 's question, are you able to pull your shoulder down to brace it (as you would in a deadlift) or get your hand up to shoulder level and grip, as you would in a barbell back squat?
    – Dark Hippo
    Mar 21, 2018 at 9:21
  • @MJB and dark hippo, I cannot do either (updated question as well) Mar 21, 2018 at 9:54
  • The good thing is that they have proven single limb exercises do provide some crossover benefit to the opposing limb, even if it is not exercising.
    – JohnP
    Mar 21, 2018 at 16:40
  • i think that is a case for finding good strength coach. Many of them have online coaching as well. For reference I suggest "Barbell Medicine" folks (they are actual doctors and power-lifters&coaches) Sep 22, 2018 at 19:25

3 Answers 3


Try consult with your doctor, maybe is possible use electric device like compex to stimulate your paralysed side.

for legs and core, you can do air squats, pistol squats (if possible hold balance, if not, try assisted), leg extensions, leg presses, back extensions, crunches.

How I understand, you can do very limited range of exercises. My advice be, don't do split workouts, do fullbody four times in week.


For core work, you could do a farmer’s walk with a dumbbell. In fact, doing it loaded on one side and then the other really adds to the benefits. If you don’t know, this involves walking while you carry the biggest freaking dumbbell you can grip at your side. No lifting needed.

You can also do a walking lunge with weights. These TORCH me.

Can you do planks? I hate them, which means they are good for me.



Are you able to front squat bodybuilding-style? That's a great all-rounder if so but you would need to be able to touch your right shoulder with your left hand (but not bear any load or grip anything) https://exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BBFrontSquat

You could also do suitcase deadlifts although I'm not sure how the asymmetry would end up looking

Plyometrics might be a good choice too for core and legs; and can be challenging https://exrx.net/Lists/PowerExercises

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