Following on from my last post on tips for protecting the shoulders, below I have listed some of the exercises that can help strength your shoulders, reduce the possibility of shoulder impingement or shoulder pain.
1. Already Suffering with Shoulder Pain?
If you are already suffering with shoulder pain then I advise that you go see your GP or another healthcare professional, an Osteopath or a Chiropractor, get the shoulder treated first before taking on any exercise program. They will be able to give you exercises to help with your recovery and get you back training, do not just think you’ll battle through and it will just get better, always get it looked at. Finding a good Osteopath is always my number one priority, and when you do find one they are worth every penny.
Everyone happy with that? I think that’s the shortest post I’ve written in a long while.
Only joking, so you’ve been and seen a professional, followed all of their instructions (they will know if you haven’t been doing your exercises) and now you are ready to get back training. Now you don’t have to do all of the exercises that I have listed below, but if you are going to introduce any of them, then the internal and external rotations would compliment any shoulder workout.
2. Doorway Stretch
Warm up your muscles by standing in an open doorway and spreading your arms out to the side.
Grip the sides of the doorway with each hand at or below shoulder height, and lean forward through the doorway until you feel a light stretch.
Keep a straight back as you lean and shift your weight onto your toes. You should feel a stretch in the front of your shoulder and into your chest . Do not overstretch.
3. Standing Internal Rotation – Cables
Stand next to a mid height pulley sideways and grasp the single hand cable attachment with the arm nearest to the cable.
Position the elbow against your side with the elbow bent at 90° and the arm pointing towards the pulley. This will be your starting position.
Pull the single hand cable attachment toward your body by internally rotating your shoulder until your forearm is across your abs. You will be creating an imaginary semi-circle. Tip: The forearm should be perpendicular to your torso at all times.
Slowly go back to the initial position.
Repeat for a total of 3 sets of 10.
Caution: Do not use heavy weights for this exercise as if you use too much you risk Rotator Cuff injury.
If you do not have a cable machine to work on, then using an exercise band attached to a secure anchor point is a perfect variation.
4. Standing External Rotation – Cable
This is exactly the same as the above exercise but this time you will start with the cable across your body and you will externally rotate your shoulder until your forearm is pointing away from the body. Again complete 3 sets of 10.
As with the previous exercise you can use an exercise band if you do not have a cable machine to use.
5. High to Low Cable Rows
Set the cable pulley to above shoulder height.
Get down on one knee so the knee opposite the arm you are going to work is raised. Your body and lowered knee should be aligned. Rest your other hand on your raised knee. By being in the kneeling position, it keeps you in a stable position and able to concentrate on the movement.
Holding the handle securely with your arm outstretched, pull your elbow toward your body. Keep your back straight and squeeze your shoulder blades together and down as you pull. Your body should not move or twist with your arm.
Return to start and repeat 3 sets of 10
6. Reverse Fly
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Keep your back straight and bend forward slightly at the waist.
With a light weight in each hand, extend your arms and raise them away from your
body (do not lock your elbow). Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you do so. Do not raise your arms above shoulder height.
Return to start and repeat 3 sets of 10.
Adding these few simple exercises to your shoulder workouts will help strengthen the Rotator Cuff, that forgotten hero and in time, will help reduce the possibility of injury.