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Low Impact Back Friendly Shoulder Workout

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Fit4Less. All opinions are 100% mine.

Looking back at all my workout posts, I shared quite a bit of home-based glute and core workouts. So this time, I’m taking you with me to the gym for a low impact upper body workout.


If you’ve been looking for a safer way to strengthen your upper back, or you’re not sure what to do at the gym to target your upper body and shoulders, you’re gonna love this routine.


I’m all about movement as a way to beat chronic back pain. I also believe you can get in shape safely and injury free with corrective exercises. There are a few exercises that can help you strengthen your back and shoulders while sparing your spine. And I’ll be sharing some of them here.

Back Friendly Shoulder Workout

This workout took place at Fit4Less during an open house. Fit4Less offers everyone free access to the whole gym on the last Thursday of every month. How great is that?  

So I visited the gym and shot this workout for you.
I have to say I was pretty surprised by the size of this gym.  Tons of cardio machines, weight machines, and free weights. And they even have massage beds where you can relax after your workouts. Yesss, please!

You can easily navigate through the gym too so you can easily settle in and start working out right away.  Many people dread joining a new gym because of that first-day experience (feeling lost, not sure where everything is). But this wasn’t the case at Fit4Less. The environment is pretty welcoming.

Fit4Less Back Friendly Shoulder Workout

Here’s a tip for you. Get a small notebook and use it to write-up your workouts before going to the gym. You won’t have to wonder what to do once you get there and you’ll save time and stay focused.


Another thing that stood out to me was the unbelievably affordable membership rates they offer considering what you get access to:

The 4Less Card membership is 4.99 every 2 weeks.

The Black Card membership is 10.99 every 2 weeks which includes free tanning, free hydromassage chairs/bed and you can even share the membership with friends and family. In addition to other perks, you can check out here.

So for this workout, you’ll need a resistance band, a bench and a couple of light dumbbells.

Pick dumbbells between 5 lbs – 15 lbs. We’ll be training small muscle groups here so we’re not going too heavy. You’ll feel the burn I promise.



low impact back friendly shoulder workout

Workout breakdown

  • Pulls with external rotations: 2 Sets x 15 Reps

A prehab warm-up exercise. Make sure you externally rotate your arms so that your thumbs are pointing outwards.

  • Cable shoulder press: 2 Sets x 8 Reps

This is a challenging exercise (it looks easy. I know). You want to pull using your upper back muscles, then you keep the contraction on the muscles and you press up.

  • Reverse shoulder press: 3 Sets x 8 Reps (L/R)

Another challenging, yet low impact, exercise that’ll tone up your shoulders. You’ll start from the top by pressing both your arms up. That’s your starting position. Then, you’ll lower one arm at a time. Our goal here is to increase the time under tension on the muscles as a way to add intensity vs simply pressing heavier weights.

  • Shoulder ‘Ys’: 2 Sets x 8 Reps

This exercise not only strengthens the rotator cuff (which supports the shoulder joint) but helps restore posture since we’re externally rotating our arms here (doing the opposite of what we do most of the day). It was nice to have the bench nicely fixed to the floor which helped me focus entirely on the movement and not worry about the bench sliding forward.

  • Face pulls: 3 sets x 12 reps

I absolutely LOVE this exercise. This is a form of a row but you want the band or the cable machine to be at face level. Hold the contraction as you pull in for about 3 seconds before releasing.

  • Standing Reverse press: 3 Sets x 8 Reps (L/R)

Similar to the sitting reverse press. You can do this one standing. I suggest you skip the standing version if you’re currently experiencing lower back pain. But using lighter weights shouldn’t cause any issues.

  • Upright rows: 30 reps finisher

I finish each arm or shoulder workout with a finisher and I almost always use a band. Maintain the contraction and don’t release when you’re going down. That’ll guarantee a nice burn.

After you’re done, you can finish off with a 10-minute cardio session on the treadmill.

I hope you’ll give this workout a try. You can also try out Fit4Less for free during one of their open houses which occurs on the last Thursday of each month.

They’re also open for 24/7 so you’ve got no excuses 🙂

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