Shoulder Exercises

Shoulder Exercises

Complex range of motion exercises should be avoided at first. Instead, you’ll start off with these very simple exercises that provide light and non-stressful shoulder motion:

1. Raise your arm and rotate it so that it crosses your face, passes your chest, and then returns to your side.

2. Hold a very light weight with the hand that corresponds with the injured shoulder. Bend over from your waist and begin to make small circles with your arm (Figure 209).

3. Grab hold of a sturdy tree branch or waist-high bar. Slowly begin to squat by bending your knees (Figure 210). If you have stiffness in your arm that inhibits you from lifting your arm fully, this exercise is especially helpful.

4. You’ll stand facing a wall and extend your arm straight out in front of your body so that your fingers touch the wall. Slowly start walking each of your fingers as far up the wall as you can. Now, you’ll turn to where your affected shoulder will face the wall. Raise your arm out from the side of your body so that your fingers will touch the wall and repeat the finger walking movement.

5. Use the palm of your hand to very gently tap from your shoulder area to the tips of your fingers (Figure 211).

6. You’ll stand with your arms extended out straight in front of your body to a shoulder level. Your palms should face the floor. Exhale as you throw your hands backwards so that they go overhead (imagine your throwing an object behind your body). Let your arms naturally descend back to their starting position. You may continue performing the motion for twenty to thirty repetitions (Figures 212 and 213).

Note: Remember to keep your arms relaxed during the exercise and keep your movements gentle and slow in the beginning. As you feel that your shoulder stiffness, tightness, and pain lessens, you may slowly increase the intensity of the exercise by gradually increasing the speed, force, or motion-range at which you’re performing the movements.

As your range of motion improves, you may add these additional exercises:

Arm Circles

Elbow Circles

Neck Turns

Arm Raise

Arm Circles

Arm Extension

Body Pull

Body Twist

Neck Tap

Arms Outward

You may now do the Hand Reach Exercises (hand reach and reverse hand reach). These should be performed very carefully and slowly to prevent re-injury. Do not use muscle tension to perform the exercises, let your eyes follow your hand as it moves, and keep your shoulders relaxed and down toward the body. Perform the exercises as follows:


Hand Reach Exercise

Begin with your left hand placed on your lower back. Inhale and use your waist to turn to the right. You’ll simultaneously swing your right arm as your waist turns. Your right arm should be palm up as it swings to the right and you should be visually following your right hand throughout the motion (Figure 203). Complete the inhalation as you start to turn your waist to the left side. You’ll allow your right hand to rise above your head (Figure 204). As you complete the waist rotation, you’ll exhale and allow your right arm and hand to sink and press downwardly like its placing a lid on a pot (Figure 205). You may do six to ten repetitions of the Hand Reach exercise with the right arm and six to ten with the left arm.

Reverse Hand Reach Exercise

Begin with your left hand placed on your lower back area. As you turn from the waist toward your left, you’ll inhale and allow your right palm to turn face up and reach across your body. You should visually follow the movements of your right hand throughout the exercise (Figure 206). As you rotate your waist back toward the right, you’ll start exhaling and allow your right arm to turn as is rises above your head (Figure 207). Finish turning rightward as your hand and arm are concurrently sinking downwardly like its putting a lid on a pot (Figure 208). You may do six to ten repetitions of the Reverse Hand Reach exercise with the right arm and six to ten with the left arm.