At RPT we pride ourselves on being called the “safe group class.” This makes me happy and angry at the same time. Safety should ALWAYS come first! I don’t understand how some gyms can throw 30 people in a room without taking the time to know anything about their specific needs! And call themselves “group personal training”

Below are a few tips in regards to working out with joint pain. Today we will focus on the low back, shoulder, and knees.

Low Back =>

Prioritize Hip mobility – Tight hips will usually lead to low back pain. A lot of people come to me with a goal to make their low back stronger. A strong low back will do nothing if your hips are tight. This is why we prioritize hip mobility in the dynamic warm up and cool-down.

Even if your goal is to have a better butt , hips are the lead domino. Tight hips will reduce your range of motion on lower body exercises. You might end up quad dominant and not able to activate your glutes, because of tight hips.

Do more single leg work – I have learned to love single leg work! Examples are lunges, backward lunges and split squats. Single leg variations keep us upright which usually prevents back pain while working the lower body. Compared to some variations of deadlifts or barbell squats. It allows us to strengthen our lower body using less weight (or bodyweight). Same exact benefit, if not more. This takes pressure off the low back!

Please do not read this and say “Detric does not like squats or deadlifts.” My members will know that is not true:) We have tons of variations that make squats and deadlifts safe. Every single person is different! Your exercise routine should not be the same as the person next to you! Even in a group! This is why we have our red-light/green-light system in place for group training!


Do landmine presses in place of overhead presses- I love the landmine press! When you press at an angle it reduces pressure on the shoulder. You are able to push yourself and get stronger quicker. Without pain! The landmine trainer also allows us to get the abs and lower body stronger! If you don’t have access to a landmine trainer there are a few ways to set this up at home with next to no equipment. Send over an email if you have any questions or want to come try it out!

There is no need to force overhead pressing if it causes pain. If you can push away from your body (think push-ups or bench press variations) you are making your shoulders stronger. If not, you can use isolation exercises to make this area stronger. Prioritize shoulder mobility exercises and choose the best strength exercises, FOR YOU! Over time you will get the range of motion back, don’t force it!

Do soft tissue work for the upper body, AND flexibility work, AND mobility work – Most people ignore all 3 when it comes to the upper body! Throw this on top of sitting over hunched all day and you will more than likely have shoulder pain. Soft tissue work (massage) is ignored the most. Improving this will allow you to get the most out of your upper body flexibility and mobility exercises. This will allow you to get stronger. If you want me to show you how to use a lacrosse ball for soft tissue/massage work HIT REPLY!


Reduce the jumps and stop pounding the joints – Really consider why you are doing this? If you think it will speed up your fat loss efforts you are wrong. This is the number one thing most “chain/franchise group classes” or “big box gyms” get wrong. They throw in tons of jumps, plyometrics, running, and speed training for people who just want to lose weight. It is not necessary. In most cases, these people are carrying more weight. This puts them at a much higher risk for injury! Throw this on top of being in a group with 30 other people and guess what is going to happen?!?!

We have tons of modifications and variations that we will force you to make! You can not make progress if you are hurt all the time! Am I saying jumps are bad? No! I am saying that YOU are an individual. You deserve to be treated that way, even in a group!!

It might be your ankle – The ankle is the most ignored joint in the body, until it’s completely messed up. If you have any mobility issues with the ankle it will show up at the knee. You probably won’t notice a slight reduction in ankle mobility. It only takes a slight reduction in ankle mobility to cause issues at the knee. The good news is it only takes a minute or 2 per day to improve ankle mobility. A few ankle circles and calf stretches can go a long way!

If you are sitting on the fence and need personal attention Send over an email or text/call (757 589 7028). It is possible to exercise in a group, and get personal attention. It starts with the no charge one on one consultation. No, this is not a cheesy sales pitch. We know you have been through that a million times before! It’s a quick meeting where we discuss goals, exercise history, and injury history. We are up front about which service (group, semi private, personal) is the best fit based on your situation (goals, schedule, budget). We know your biggest fear is entering a room and feeling like you don’t fit in. I will never let that happen! If you are ready to experience REAL GROUP PERSONAL TRAINING HIT REPLY!

If the group setting is not a good fit we also offer one on one training!

Detric Smith, CSCS, ACSM Exercise Physiologist, Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach
P.S. => Have you seen our 30 day no contract jump start? If not check it out here =>