So I have some medical condition that prevents me from doing most of the upper body workouts such as shoulder and back. I only can do very lightweight for the upper body for arms.

I've been lifting much heavier for my lower body, spending about 1-2 hours twice a week, doing heavy squats, lunges and many different lower body workouts.

Also, I'm doing cardio in the am before breakfast about 20-30 minutes 3-4 times a week.

I recently noticed that my legs got much stronger than before, I can feel more muscles and they are more toned but not so much on my upper body.

I wonder if I continue to do this, would my body be very unbalanced? I want to have a slim upper body with more muscles on the lower body (glutes and thighs).

I'm soon to be on medication so hopefully, I can lift heavier weights for the upper body but I was just wondering... I just don't want my body to be like a fat/weak upper body with a super-strong fit lower body.

Any advice will be appreciated!

+++ Edit:

Sorry for the confusion. So I have inflammation on my collarbone and shoulder joints, so I'm not able to lift my arms above my shoulder height or any big movements require collarbones and shoulder. I always use a squat rack to do squats or lunges (though I was not allowed to do this because lifting heavy barbell gives pain but it's not too bad so I still do it) and I use leg press and other lower body machines.

I do occasionally do upper body workout when my condition is not too bad. I do my arms with 5 lbs each, doing 20 reps and so on. And when I do heavy leg day, I do feel some soreness on my upper body.

I'm going to be on medication soon, which will clear inflammation and further prevent from happening, so I will be able to work out my upper body better. But it could take 3 months or 6 months until then.

  • Your post is a bit confusing. You mention lifting heavy for the lower body which would necessitate some amount of upper body strength especially if you're using a barbell. It might be worth it to further explain, if possible, the reason for your upper body restrictions.
    – rrirower
    Oct 2, 2019 at 20:11
  • Are you able to do bodyweight exercises for your upper body? press ups, inverted rows, etc?
    – Dark Hippo
    Oct 3, 2019 at 9:45
  • @rrirower Sorry, I just edited with more info!
    – sarah kim
    Oct 3, 2019 at 17:11
  • @DarkHippo Yes, when I'm in pretty good condition, I do very light reps of arms, and sometimes back. But I feel like doing the same weight is not doing anything for my upper body. :-(
    – sarah kim
    Oct 3, 2019 at 17:12
  • Working only one part of your body may lead to imbalances. Given your most recent edit, I'd suggest you consider taking some time off until you are able to work out more efficiently.
    – rrirower
    Oct 3, 2019 at 18:08

1 Answer 1


Assuming you train your legs with machines or bodyweight since your condition doesn't allow you to use your shoulder girdle, you certainly can build a massive lower body with proper progression skemes.

You said that you can sometimes train your upper body when you don't feel that bad, it's not optimal but 1 day a week of training has shown to be enough to build muscle mass.

  • Hi, thank you for your reply! well since then, I started PT on my upper body and it's getting a bit better. But now that the gyms are closed due to COVID 19, I stopped working out and hopefully, I can go back soon. Stay safe!
    – sarah kim
    Jun 15, 2020 at 3:20

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