After an acute case of shoulder impingement or a rotator cuff tear, many patients are understandably hesitant to perform exercises above shoulder height. However, performing overhead exercises will optimize the health of the rotator cuff muscle complex and improve your scapulohumeral rhythm (interaction between the shoulder blade and your upper arm bone) during functional activities like throwing, punching & reaching.
Here are some of my favourite shoulder exercises below.
1) Wall Slides with Towel (reach up as high as you can with each repetition)
– by reaching up as high as you can, the wall slides encourages upward rotation of the shoulder blade during flexion (forward lifting)
2) Theraband Routine (this can be done for 2-3 minutes as a warm-up)
– targets rotator cuff muscle complex and deltoid muscle group.
– targets the lower trapezius muscle group – which has a role in rotating your shoulder blade upwards when performing overhead movements
4) Face Pulls
– similar to the theraband routine, the face pulls target the posterior deltoids, rhomboids and rotator cuff muscles (specifically external rotators). Perform 2 sets of 10 reps with control.
These exercises should be pain-free! Please consult with your medical doctor, or north Toronto chiropractor, physiotherapist, or athletic therapist at Lawrence Park Health Clinic before attempting these exercises after a shoulder injury. The advice in this blog or any previous or future blogs, is not intended to replace the advice, examination, diagnosis or treatment by, a licensed healthcare practitioner.
Author: Clarence Lau, BSc (Hons), MPhtySt
Toronto Registered Physiotherapist | Acupuncture Provider