Burpees with a Torn Rotator Cuff, Yay Burpees!

Since I’ve returned to exercising and prehabilitating my shoulder’s torn rotator cuff by doing rotator cuff tear friendly exercises, I’ve noticed a marked improvement in my shoulder pain. No it’s not fixed, nor close to it but to be honest, if it wasn’t for wanting to exercises fully again, I reckon I could live a normal life how it is now. Most of the pain has gone and the dull aching has disappeared completely.

Whilst doing a CrossFit / SPEAR System type workout to fellow PDR Coach Chris Worrall at CrossFit Tameside, that involved Combat Squats, Half Spears, and Burpees with a medicine ball(!) I realised that it didn’t hurt as I had expected. Previously I was unable to even get into the plank position, so any form of push up was out, which meant Burpees were out too. So this week I felt confident enough to try out a slightly modified burpee in a workout to see how it went.

What I discovered is that I could do narrow stance push ups without any significant pain, so narrow stance burpees are also in then, providing I don’t do them to excess I think. So the workout I did was this:

Torn Rotator Cuff Workout 6

In x minutes, do As Many Rounds As Possible (AMRAP) of:

  • 1 Box Jump
  • 1 Burpee
  • 1 sit up
  • Each round, increase the number of each movement by 1, so on round 3, you do 3 Box Jumps then 3 Burpees etc

You can pick any time over which to do this. I’d already done heavy sets of 5x deadlifts and didn’t want to push the first time trying burpees on my shoulder, so I just did AMRAP in 6 minutes of the above.

2k row with Death By Burpees built in

Rowing doesn’t aggrevate my shoulder injury so I think I’ll be able to do a workout suggested by Tom Bold of CrossFit Bold which is a 2k row, with Death By Burpees built in, so it works like this:

  • Start the first minute by doing 1 burpee then hop on the rower and row as far as you can
  • When the minute rolls around jump off and knock out 2 burpees
  • Get back on the rower and continue from where you left off…
  • Continue in this fashion adding one burpee per minute until you’ve completed 2km or you can’t finish the burpees within the allocated minute.

It looks rough! 🙂

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Jack Heneghan 17 September 2011, 10:15 pm

    Hi Colin,

    I have to be honest, I never actually looked at your whole site, I thought that it was just a map of the CF UK gyms but I have just spent a good hour reading articles! We are just re-designing our website at the moment, would you mind if we put a link to yours on our links page?


  • Colin McNulty 17 September 2011, 10:35 pm

    Hi Jack, I’m glad you found my ramblings interesting!

    Feel free. You dont have to ask. All links gratefully received.



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