Our shoulder is an important part of our body and it should be taken care of with all the necessary shoulder exercises, which will allow us to strengthen our shoulders in the best possible way. Shoulder pain is a common symptom that affects an estimated 18–2 per cent of adults. Studies have suggested that depending on the type of shoulder injury or pain a person had, exercises and manual therapy were effective treatments for the pain.
The shoulder joint is the most complex joint in the human body. It is tasked with giving you both the mobility to move your arm 360 degrees, as well as the stability that allows all the bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments that make up the shoulder to work together. With all of the parts that make up the shoulder, it’s common to experience pain or loss of mobility due to injury.
Shoulder exercises are important for all individuals to maintain as a part of their daily exercise routine. As shoulder exercises are performed, the shoulder muscles are strengthened, which benefits individuals in many ways such as attaining a better posture and reduction of back pain.
The shoulder of your body contains three bones. They are the upper arm bone, shoulder blade and collarbone. The shoulder muscles are of two types, the first being anterior Axio-appendicular muscles and the second being posterior Axio-appendicular muscles. The deltoid is the most important muscle of your shoulder and is also large. Further, other shoulder muscles such as trapezius and subscapularis muscles are present over the top of the rib cage and below the deltoids respectively. All of these muscles provide support to your shoulder joint, in addition to generating the movements of the shoulder girdle. You can set up your own shoulder routine by performing a variety of shoulder exercises.
Causes of Shoulder Pain
Some sources of shoulder pain constitute a medical emergency and require immediate attention followed by professional rehabilitation led by a physical therapist, such as dislocation, separation or fracture. However, some of the common causes of shoulder pain are arthritis, impingement, instability and overuse. Some of the other common causes of shoulder pain are as follows: –
- Rotator cuff tendonitis – A rotator cuff is a group of four muscles tasked with supporting and moving the shoulder. The tendons attach to the arm bone in an area underneath the bony prominence of the shoulder blade. Rotator cuff tendonitis can become pinched under this bone, which causes inflammation and soreness. Age is notably the biggest contributor to rotator cuff disease.
- Biceps tendonitis – The biceps tendon attaches your biceps muscle in the upper arm to the front of the shoulder. This tendon can become pinched due to the bony anatomy of the shoulder blade or by ligaments that attach to the collarbone and shoulder blade.
- Bursitis – Shoulder bursitis occurs when the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that enables body structures to glide smoothly over one another, becomes pinched. There is a bursa between the humerus bone and the shoulder blade.
- Frozen shoulder – Also called adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder is a condition where the shoulder becomes painful and gradually loses motion due to lack of use, a worsening rheumatic disease, a lack of fluid to help the shoulder move or bands of tissue that grow in the joint and restrict motion.
Top 10 Exercises to Relieve Shoulder Pain
If you are experiencing shoulder pain, try these shoulder exercises which will help to relieve your pain. Remember to always consult an orthopaedic doctor if you experience shoulder pain that is not relieved by several days of rest, ice, massage, and elevation. With the help of this article, we will try to figure out some of the shoulder exercises that you can incorporate into your daily workout regime.
1.) Pendulum Exercise – Pendulum exercise is one of the best shoulder exercises that you can perform to strengthen your shoulders. To do the pendulum exercise, start by leaning over and supporting your non-injured arm with a table or chair. Allow the sore arm to dangle straight down and then draw circles in the air. The circles should start out small but gradually grow, and you should also reverse direction periodically. Repeat this exercise 5 to 10 times throughout the day.
2.) Arm Across the Chest – Making arm across the chest exercise is one of the best shoulder exercises that you can perform to strengthen your shoulders. To do this stretch, hold your right hand out in front of your body, keeping it near the waist. Then reach the left hand behind the elbow while pulling the right arm to the left and across the chest. Lower the arm until the pain lessens. Hold in this position for 30 to 50 seconds and then release. Repeat this stretch 3 to 5 times.
3.) Neck Release Exercise – The neck release exercise is one of the best shoulder exercises that you can perform to strengthen your shoulders. While sitting up straight, slowly tilt the chin toward the chest until the stretch can be felt in the back of the neck. Then lean your head toward the left to stretch the right shoulder, or conversely lean to the right to stretch the left shoulder. The stretch should be held for a minute on each side. Try breathing deeply to help relax and maximize the stretch.
4.) Chest Expansion Exercise – Chest expansion exercise is one of the best shoulder exercises that you can perform to strengthen your shoulders. Put an exercise band, rope, strap, or even a tie behind your back and grasp it with both hands. While holding the strap, draw your shoulder blades toward each other and gently lift your chin toward the ceiling. Breathe deeply for 10 to 15 seconds and release. Repeat 3-5 times. To progress the stretch, move your hands closer together on the strap.
5.) Seated Twist Exercise – Seated Twist Exercise is one of the best shoulder exercises that you can perform to strengthen your shoulders. Sit straight up in a chair with your knees together. Twist your torso to the right, placing your left hand on the outside of your right thigh. Relax your shoulders as you look towards your right, gentle pushing on your right thigh. Breathe deeply for 10 to 15 seconds and release. Repeat with your left side. Repeat both sides 3-5 times.
6.) The 90, 90 Shoulder Stretch – The 90, 90 Shoulder Stretch is one of the best shoulder exercises that you can perform to strengthen your shoulders. Stand in a doorway, holding your arms up so your elbow is at a 90-degree angle and your arm forms a 90-degree angle to your body at the shoulder. Place each hand on one of the sides of the door frame, placing one foot forward as you stand up straight aligning your neck with your spine. Lean forward as you brace yourself against the door frame. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds.
7.) Scapular Push-Ups – Scapular Push-Ups are one of the best shoulder exercises that you can perform to strengthen your shoulders. Scapular winging happens when there is a limited function of the upper body, which can prevent you from lifting, pulling, and pushing heavy objects. But scapular push-ups can help the wing by strengthening your back and shoulders. To perform this, first, get into a high plank position with your shoulders directly over your wrists. Imagine that there’s a ball between your shoulder blades, pinch your shoulder blades together as if you’re clutching the ball on your back. Then, lower your body towards the mat until your arms form a 45-degree angle.
8.) Side Planks – Side Planks is one of the best shoulder exercises that you can perform to strengthen your shoulders. Your obliques will get as much attention in this shoulder-opening exercise. The key to nailing down this exercise is to keep your hips square and in a straight line as you twist your torso. To perform this, Lie on your right side on a yoga mat. Stack your left leg on top of your right and lift your body off the mat by pressing your right forearm into the mat. Reach your left hand to the ceiling, straightening your arm. Keep your legs and feet stacked and, squeezing your inner thighs, thread your left arm under your torso and then bring it back up to the ceiling.
9.) Shoulder Circles – Shoulder Circles are one of the best shoulder exercises that you can perform to strengthen your shoulder. This exercise helps improve your shoulders’ range of motion and prepares the joints for lifting heavy groceries and pulling doors open. It also makes a great dynamic stretch before a workout and throughout the day to ease muscle tension. To perform this, raise your shoulders overhead, shoulder distance apart, with your fingers facing up toward the ceiling. Swing your arms forward and then rotating them back to your sides.
10.) Shoulder Retraction Exercise – Shoulder Retraction Exercise is one of the best shoulder exercises that you can perform to strengthen your shoulder. This exercise can be done by using a supinated grip (underhand) that allows you to target arm muscles, including your biceps. To perform this, hold a dumbbell in each hand close together with your palms facing up and your arms bent at a 90-degree angle. Pinching your shoulder blades together, bring your arms to your sides until your forearms are parallel to the floor while keeping your arms bent at 90 degrees. Then, bring your arms back to the starting position.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.