Most, if not all of us, have heard the idiom “Carry the world on your shoulders”. This just goes to show how strong our shoulders are! But the truth is we all go through this burden, literally.
When your shoulders hurt moving is simply uncomfortable if not excruciating. Whether you are a health buff who hits the gym every morning, a basketball player who shoots hoops for a living or a golfer who drives 230 yards, chances are you will have pain one time or another.
Shoulder pain can be caused by many factors and not having this checked can aggravate the situation. Particularly if this has been going on for a while or you recently got injured, it’s wise to know what exercises can alleviate the pain. And if you happen to undergo surgery, there are also rehab exercises you can do to help you get back to your active lifestyle.
(Check out our review on the best braces here)
Shoulder pain can result if your joint gets injured as well as your tendons, muscles and ligaments, sometimes affecting mobility and stability.
When your rotator cuff gets injured or you have just undergone surgery, you will need to do some physical therapy exercises. These will help strengthened the muscles and get your shoulder back in shape.
It’s important to strengthen the muscles that support your shoulder to ensure they do their purpose, stabilize your shoulder joint. With strong muscles, further injuries will be prevented and the pain in your shoulder will be relieved.
Stretching the muscles after strengthening them is equally important to improve your range of motion. With muscle stretching, the chances of waking up with sore muscles are lessened. Instead, they become more flexible.
Here are some exercises you can do to manage pain and recondition your shoulders:
- Work on your mid and lower traps.
This is an easy routine for your middle and lower trapezius called the Standing Row. Attach a resistance band,
around three feet long on something stable like the wall or on your door knob.
Grab the end of the band with your hand and bend your elbow at your side. Afterwards, slowly pull your elbow all the way to your back. Do these with 8 reps. For starters, try this three times a week.
- Strengthen your chest and shoulder.
When you want to target your pectoralis and subscapularis, you may want to try the weight machine at the gym you go to or do this exercise at home using an a band. Stand holding your elbow bent to the side and bring your arm across to your body, while keeping you’re the elbow near the side. This shoulder injury exercise is good for eight reps and called Internal Rotation.
- Get your thoracic spine back in order.
If you want to be able to lift your right arm down to your back as you let your left arm up your back and let both hands as close to each other as possible but couldn’t, you have a stiff thoracic spine.
Doing T-Spine exercises like T-Spine extension on a foam roller, Side Lying Diagonal Reach and Cat-Camel, you can increase the mobility of your mid and upper back as well address your shoulder pain that has been bothering you for weeks.
- Retract your shoulder blade.
For your injured shoulder, you need to work on your scapula. By using weights that allow two to eight repetitions of two sets, this can slowly alleviate your condition.
This one is easy. Just lie on a bench with your injured arm hanging at the side (you can hold a dumbbell if the weight of your arm is too light). Slowly lift your arm and squeeze your shoulder blade toward the opposite side.
- Flex those elbows.
Lets work some elbow flexion with bicep curls. With a comfortable weight in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and keep your elbow by your side. Curl one arm up toward your shoulder with your elbow close to your side and keep it there for two seconds. Bring it back down and do the same with the other arm, that counts as 1 rep. Do this for 3 sets – 8 reps each set.
- Work on your triceps.
Place your left hand on your right upper arm to support it as you slowly straighten your elbow and bring the weight over your head. Keep this for two seconds. Afterwards, lower your arm back down over your head . Do 3 Sets – 8 Reps each set. Try to keep your abs tight and back straight throughout the exercise.
These are just some rehab exercises for the shoulder which you can do at home, in the gym or at a rehab center, for post-surgery cases. Ensure that you visit your doctor or physical therapist if you are still recovering after surgery.
Do the exercises and regain the strength back in your shoulders. All you need to do now is flex your muscles, whip out that smile and tell ‘em to bring it on!