Shoulder Strengthening Exercises

Shoulder Strengthening Exercises

If you have shoulder pain or injury, consult your physician before doing shoulder exercises. Do not do exercises that cause pain while performing them.

Read Exercise Safely before attempting strengthening exercises.

Rotator Cuff Exercises

*Three samples of internal rotation exercises and three external rotation exercises are shown. Choose one per exercise session. Do not do all three.

In the first sample, resistance is provided by use of an immovable object (isometric exercises); in the second, resistance is provided by use of dumbbells (handheld weights); in the third, resistance is provided by the use of resistance bands.

Which form of resistance should you choose?

The rotator cuff exercises using dumbbells or resistance bands are generally preferable as they strengthen the rotator cuff throughout a range of motion (exercises that use dumbbells may also be performed without weights to decrease difficulty). The isometric rotation exercises are useful if movement of the shoulder joint causes pain. Do not do any exercise that causes pain.

Isometric Internal Rotation

Stand near the end of outer corner of wall.
Bend elbow to 90-degree angle and keep elbow close to body, lower arm level with floor.
Press palm of hand into wall for 10 seconds. Repeat exercise on other side.

Internal Rotation using Dumbbells

Lie on side.
*Use light dumbbell, as the rotator cuff muscles are relatively small.
Hold dumbbell on same side, Bend elbow to 90-degree angle. Keep elbow against body.
Slowly lift dumbbell upward and toward body.
Pause, and return to start.
Repeat 10 times. Repeat exercise on other side.

internal rotation with dumbbell start position internal rotation with dumbbell

Internal Rotation using Resistance Band

Attach resistance band to doorknob / wall.
Stand with right side to wall.
Hold resistance band with right hand.
Bend elbow to 90-degree angle, hand facing frontward and elbow close to body.
Slowly rotate hand toward the middle of the body.
Return to starting position.
Repeat 10 times. Repeat exercise on other side

Isometric External Rotation

Stand with side to wall.
Bend elbow to 90-degree angle. Keep elbow close to body.
Press back of hand into wall for 10 seconds. Repeat exercise on other side

External Rotation using Dumbbells

Lie on left side.
With right arm, hold dumbbell next to body, elbow bent 90-degrees.
Slowly lift upward until back of hand faces backward.
Return to starting position.
Repeat 10 times. Repeat exercise on other side

external rotationwith dumbbell start position external rotation with dumbbell

External Rotation using Resistance Band

Attach resistance band to doorknob / wall.
Stand with left side to wall.
Hold resistance band with right hand.
Start with right hand in middle of body, elbow bent 90-degrees.
Slowly stretch band by moving arm outward until back of hand facing backward.
Do one set (10 repetitions) Repeat exercise on other side.

Lateral-Front Raise using Dumbbells

Stand or sit in chair.
Keep shoulders down and back.
With arms at side and thumbs pointed upward, slowly raise arms to the sides but slightly toward the front (at about a 30 degree angle to the front of the body) until almost shoulder level. Repeat 10 times.

lateral-front raise using dumbbells start positiion lateral- front raise using dumbbells

Lying Lateral Raise using Dumbbell

Lie on left side.
Hold dumbbell in right hand, placed in front of thigh.
Keep elbow slightly bent.
Raise dumbbell slowly off floor until arm is at 45-degree angle.
Return to starting position.
Repeat 10 times.
Repeat on other side.

side lying lateral raise start position side lying lateral raise mid position side lying lateral raise with dumbbells

Scapula (Shoulder Blade) Stabilizing Exercises

Shoulder Shrug

Start with light dumbbells.
Stand with arms at side, palms facing body.
Keep arms straight and shrug shoulders upward toward ears.
Pause and lower.
Repeat 10 times.

shoulder shrug start position shoulder shrug

Shoulder Blade Squeeze

Stand with hands at sides.
Bring shoulders down and back and squeeze shoulder blades together
Hold for 10 seconds
Repeat 3 times.

Wall push-ups

Stand about 18 inches away from wall.
Place hands on wall at shoulder level.
Slowly lower yourself toward wall and return to starting position.
To make this exercise more difficult use progressively lower surfaces – counter top, tabletop, etc.

Lying Shoulder Press

Lie on back with knees bent and feet flat on floor.
Start with back of hand over the shoulder, elbow close to body. Extend arm vertically (toward ceiling). Push shoulder higher to lift shoulder blade off ground. Repeat 20 times. As strength increases, add light dumbbell. Repeat 20 times. Repeat exercise on other side

lying shoulder press start position lying shoulder press and protraction

Row using Resistance Band

Attach resistance band to wall or wrap around post at about level of lower ribs.
Hold resistance band with arm outstretched in front of you, elbow slightly bent.
Start with shoulders down and back.
Pull elbow backward (using a rowing motion) and squeeze shoulder blade. Keep arm close to body. Repeat 10 times. Switch sides and repeat.

One-Arm Row using Dumbbells

Bend at hips, do not round back (keep the slight natural arch in the back and keep abs tight.), hold dumbbell in hand with arm hanging toward floor. Bring dumbbell up to chest. Slowly lower dumbbell until arm is straight down. Keep arm close to body. Repeat 10 times. Switch sides and repeat.

*May use bench, with opposite hand and knee on bench for stability.

One-Arm Bent-Over Lateral Raise

Bend at hips, do not round back (keep the slight natural arch in the back and keep abs tight.), hold dumbbell in hand with arm hanging toward floor. Lift dumbbell out to side. Repeat 10 times. Switch sides and repeat.
*May use bench, with opposite hand and knee on bench for stability.




Back of Shoulders

Lie on stomach.
Hold light dumbbell and place back of hand over lower back (elbow will be bent).
Lift weight up, away from back (about 4 inches).
Repeat 10 times.

Biceps Exercise

Curls

Stand or sit.
Keep shoulder back and down.
Hold dumbbell in each hand, palms up.
Start with arms at side.
Keep elbows close to side and wrists locked
Bend elbows to raise dumbbells to front of shoulder.
Do one set (ten repetitions)
As strength increases, do a second set. Rest for 30 seconds between sets.

May exercise one arm at a time if preferred, one arm is rested while the other is being exercises.
…continue to shoulder stretching exercises.

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