How to do weight training with a shoulder replacement

A shoulder replacement, also called shoulder arthroplasty, is the replacement of your natural shoulder joint with artificial parts. People who have shoulder joint replacements undergo surgery because their joint has been damaged beyond repair.

Heavy-duty upper arm weight training with a shoulder replacement is not recommended, according to the British Orthopaedic Association, but lighter strength training can be part of your rehabilitation process.

Begin with light hand weights of about a kilogram and gradually work up to 2.5kg(5lb) weights during your training and shoulder exercises; your physical therapist will determine the appropriate weight for your rehabilitation. Due to the location of your arthoplasty, you might not be able to weight train with heavier weights due to the extreme stress placed on your shoulder.

Increase your range of motion post-surgery with supine presses. Lie down on your back on a floor, bed or table. Grasp a hand towel with both hands together. Raise your arms, elbows straight but not locked, and push the towel toward the sky. Lift your shoulder off the floor as you push. When the exercise becomes too easy, move your hands apart an inch or two. Eventually, you'll be able to graduate to holding a full, 1/2 litre-sized bottle of water in your affected arm and perform the same motions.

Strengthen your rotator cuff muscles -- the muscles that surround your shoulder joint -- with shoulder shrug exercises. Hold a hand weight in your closed first with your palm facing upward. Shrug your shoulders up and back down as you grip the weight. The University of Washington Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine suggests working up to 20 repetitions.