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How To Lift Smart Through Pain

Find out how to train through the pain intelligently so you can still make gains!
Six Star Pro Staff
Six Star Pro Staff
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Joint Pain

By Scott Mooney
SIX STAR AMBASSADOR

1. DON’T PUSH THROUGH PAIN

I feel like this one should go without saying, but people still tend to do this. They find a program and refuse to change it. They feel like they HAVE to do an exercise (like bench press, for example), even though it causes this person shoulder pain. Now bench press is a great chest exercise, but if it causes you pain, DON’T DO IT. It’s that simple. This goes with any exercise. If it causes pain, do something different.

2. TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT

Try something more unorthodox. Let’s stick with the bench press example. If this causes shoulder pain, there are many ways to train the chest differently. Trying chest presses on a cable machine or using TRX bands. Get creative and find a way to train your chest without the pain.

3. SWITCH TO CABLES

Everyone wants to go out and lift some big free weights, but this isn’t always the best for your joints. Try some cables to switch things up. Cables are much easier on the joints. For example, if skullcrushers hurt your elbows, try laying a bench up to a cable machine and doing them with a cable attachment.

4. DON’T LISTEN TO THE “GYM BROS”

Just because all the big guys at the gym claim that you need to do barbell squats to build big legs, doesn’t mean that’s your only option. If barbell squats cause knee pain, there are other exercises to hit to make your legs grow. Try goblet squats, front squats or other squat variations. If these hurt also, stay away from squats all together. You can always slowly work back into squats once the pain has subsided.

5. TAKE SOME TIME OFF

Sometimes your pain is just telling you that you’ve been pushing yourself and you need some time off. Taking a week off can help not only with muscle recovery, but can give those joints a rest too.

6. SEE A DOCTOR

If you feel you’ve been taking it easy, and the pain just won’t go away, see a doctor. There could be something more serious going on. You could need surgery or just a little physical therapy will help. Either way, getting a professional opinion can help you get back in the gym, pain free.

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