Maintaining functional mobility and strength in the shoulders is a crucial component to maintaining physical well-being. Below are some basic yet effective patterns of movement and exercise that will help ensure healthy shoulders now and into the future. As with any exercise, there should be no discomfort or pain with use thereof. Consult with a physical therapist (there is direct access to physical therapy care in the state of Minnesota) if there are any concerns regarding your shoulder.
- Both arms extended up wall with pinkies on wall and thumbs pointing behind you.
- Alternately lift arms off wall, keeping elbow straight and arm should brush by your ear.
- Try not to twist your torso as you do this.
- Goal=10-15 reps 1x/day
- Grasp hands behind your back, sliding toward the opposite forearm stopping when there is mild to moderate tightness. Pull the shoulder blades back and down to gently intensify the stretch. Hold 60 sec.
- Rest and repeat until progress (sliding toward the opposite elbow) stops.
- Repeat 1-2x/day
Bow and Arrow
- Lying on non involved side with knees bent to a 90 degree angle. Slide involved hand forward until a mild stretch is felt. Reverse direction as if pulling back on a bow. When taught, pause and reverse direction as though letting the arrow fly. The first goal is to touch the elbow to the supporting surface immediately behind you then slowly straighten the elbow. As able, progress by slowly sliding the arm and hand (along the floor/bed) overhead in a circumducting pattern in both a clockwise and counter clockwise fashion. Stop at any point of pain and reverse direction. At a point of tightness initiate deep breathing patterns to further assist the stretching process.
- Goal= 10 reps 1-2x/day
- Lie on your stomach on a ball or ottoman. Palms to the floor, thumbs pointing away from you, squeeze shoulder blades back and down (toward back pockets). Keep your head in neutral to maintain the alignment of yous spine, and raise arms toward the ceiling. Hold for 3-5 seconds. Repeat 10-20 times 1x/day
- Begin lying on your stomach on a ball or ottoman. Bend elbows, hands near your shoulders, bringing the bottoms of your shoulder blades together. Extend arms out in front of you, holding for five seconds, and return to the starting position. Lower relative height of the elbows if there is discomfort. Stop if discomfort continues. Attempt 2 sets of 5-20 repetitions 1x/day
T Prone over Ball
- Lie prone over the top of the ball so that your back is flat and your chest is off the ball. Pull your shoulder blades in toward your spine and extend your arms to the sides to create a “T” with your torso. Keep your arms long and straight, 90 degrees to your torso. Your thumbs should be up and pointed toward the ceiling.
- Goal 20-30 reps. 1x/day
Latest posts by Dr. Terry Buisman, PT (see all)
- How Much Exercise do You Need to Stay Healthy? - September 21, 2022
- Even a Small Amount of Exercise can Have Huge Benefits for Our Bodies - March 16, 2022
- Maintaining Your Weight Loss Goals in 2022 - January 5, 2022