Strength Training While Rehabing

Ok, the first of July I had a bone graft and a screw placed in my wrist, to repair a non-union fracture from football two years ago. I haven’t lifted with my right arm since March because of this. I have been doing maitenence lifting with my left arm (one armed machine bench and military, dumbell exercises) and hip sled, but only lifting about once a week. I am about to start lifting seriously again, as I am starting to be able to work out with my right arm. My question is how to go about working it back into shape, as it has alot of catching up to do. My left arm is in very good shape and i can do somewhere around 30 one handed pushups w/ it. I know there is some crossover effect but not alot. Should i start with very low reps on dumbell curls untill it is in relatively good shape, or can i start with lifts involving both arms? it is in enough general shape that I have no physical therapy, but it is not to an athletic standard by any means. By the end of the month I will be cleared for all activities. Kind of an odd question but any help would be appreciated.

I know this is often recommended, but I don’t know why you would want to work the opposite limb when the other limb is injured. There might be some crossover strength gain, but wouldn’t that just cause a greater muscular imbalance leading to more problems (and possibly more injuries) later on?

Why not try to find a way to work them both bilaterally, eg. use a cable machine, attach it to the top of your forearms or upper arms to do certain lifts or try to get access to EMS.

I’m not sure what state your wrist is in now, but I found the best thing was to do all exercises with dumbells in a neutral wrist position (eg. hammer curls). This put the least amount of stress on the wrists for me, stay away from exercises like barbell/ez-bar tricep extensions!

I don’t know about the muscle imbalance, it could lead to injury, hopefully I don’t have any difficulties. I have yet to have an upper body muscular injury and my right arm has been weaker for two years now. Anyway, hammer curls are a lift I have always been fond of, so I will probably do more of them in the near future. How long do you think it will take before I can safely start benching again? Not safety in terms of the bone, that will be fine, but safety in terms of having enough muscular strength in that arm. It will be a while before I can do cleans, because of the stress it puts on a wrist, and I don’t know any other Olympic lifts, so bench is my main upper body priority.

BTW, didn’t Charlie say in his article that it was very difficult to successfully use EMS for strength gains in the arms, due to the muscles being smaller?

How’s your wrist for mobility? It seems that your wrist mobility and grip strength are the current governing factors in your upperbody and arm
right side developement.

Is there any speciall exercises you could do over the next month or so to speed this developement?
How about wrist curls, and;
(with a light weight) Reverse barbell curls. ?

Or, a classic basketball drill;

Get a b-ball, and dribble the ball against a wall at face hieght,
for 30 seconds or so. (don’t make the triceps do the work on this
one, you should flip hand back and forth quick to dribble on the wall, using fore-arm and wrist muscles as the prime movers, triceps as stabilizers.) That is going to put some blood pump to the region, fore-arms/wrists without over straining and will help some recovery elements.

I can move my wrist almost all the way down, and about halfway of normal upwards. I’m doing stretching drills and am expected to get close to or full range of motion back. I’m not sure if I could do the basketball drill yet, I think it is too sensitive. Maybe if I did it really slowly? I can do dumbell exercises with less than 10 lbs of weight without pain. I can also bench just the bar without joint pain, but I doubt that that is beneficial.
BTW, anyone have any details on EMS on upper body? I have access to a unit but I don’t want to do it wrong.