Alternative Exercises For When You’re Banged Up

As our training volume and intensity increases our need for adequate recovery becomes more and more important.


Our body is a wonderful thing, capable of kicking so much ass, but at times it can also let us down. As our training volume and intensity increases our need for adequate recovery becomes more and more important, at times our training far outweighs our recovery and subsequently we start to get banged up; sore hips, knees and shoulders in particular. If you’re anything like me you can’t help but to do something! Here’s are few alternative exercises for when you’re feeling a bit busted.

Sore hips

High Box Squats – Let’s get it straight, I’m not advocating using half squats as your primary exercise when you’re fit and healthy, but the high Box Squat is great for when your hips are feeling stiff and sore. By decreasing the range of hip flexion the High Box Squat will be less aggravating on your hips and lower back whilst still allowing you to shift some weight. Once you’re feeling better, it’s back to parallel (at least) you go!

Sore shoulders

Slingshot Bench/Pushup – Powerlifter Mark “Smelly” Bell hit a home-run with his slingshot product, mimicking a bench shirt, the slingshot supports the shoulder and elbow allowing you to Bench when those shoulders are playing up. The slingshot is also a great tool for overloading your Bench Press once your back at it 100%.

Floor Press – is a great alternative to the traditional Bench Press for those with sore shoulders. With a decreased range of motion there will be less stress on the shoulder capsule as well. The floor press is also a great exercise to help bust through that sticking point.

Sore knees

When you’ve got sore knees and you’re facing Lower Body day, it’s not all doom and gloom. Actually, it might be, but sore knees doesn’t mean Lower Body day is off. It means you should shift your focus from knee dominant movements such as Squats and Lunges to more hip dominant movements like Deadlifts (and variations), Back Extensions & Good Mornings. The more vertical shin angle during these exercises means less knee flexion and more hip flexion allowing you to train different aspects of your lower body when your knees aren’t being friendly.

It goes without saying that the proper precautions (exercise prescription, technique etc) should be taken to limit soreness and injury in the first place, any serious ailment should be followed up with the appropriate health professional, such as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist.

  Blog contributor bottom banner aj smith