Until 2 months ago I was in the best shape I had been in over a decade. My gym closing was a small setback but the big issue now is my left arm. I tore a tendon in my elbow in late march and it’s really limiting what I can do. It hurts to hold any weight in it. I’m looking for the best workout I can get under the circumstances. I assume it would primarily be core and lower body. Does anybody know where I could find a complete 1 arm workout?

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1 Answer 1


The good news is that about half the neural development that you get on one side is theoretically transferable to the other, even if you do not so much as touch a dumbbell with the injured arm.

With that in mind, this is a perfect opportunity to focus on those single-arm variations of exercises that most of us avoid either because they are technically more difficult, or because of time constraints. Just be careful to avoid those that require the opposing arm to stabilise the body.

I know of no specific training programme for people in your situation, but I would begin with dumbbell variations of all of the primary lifts. These might include any or all of the following:

Pulls: single-arm (D/B) bent-over row; single arm (D/B or K/B) upright row; D/B power clean

Presses: single-arm (D/B) press, push-press, or push-jerk; single-arm push-up graded on Smith Machine, or other elevated platform; single-arm (D/B) chest press, preferably on S/B

Full-body: D/B squat, with D/B resting on shoulder; D/B dead lift; D/B snatch

Isolated: D/B bicep curls, hammer curls, or screw curls; D/B overhead tricep extension; single-arm (D/B) pull-over

There are, of course, an infinite number of exercises and variations that you might try. However, this all comes with a very important word of caution: such unilateral development can lead to considerable muscular and structural imbalance. I strongly recommend working with a good physiotherapist, and to resume some form of multilateral training as soon as it is safe to do so. Furthermore, particular effort should be taken after full recovery to balance out the muscles through a regimen of stretching and strengthening, lest they lead to problems in the long term.

I hope that helps.

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