What is the purpose of the prone-arm waves exercise?

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The prone-arm waves exercise is designed to promote scapular stabilization. By internally and externally rotating the humerus with the arm abducted and elbow flexed to 90 degrees, the muscles of the rotator cuff are strengthened. This exercise is VERY often used with shoulder rehabilitation patients, but also  by upper extremity athletes such as volleyball and baseball players, as well as swimmers. With these athletes, performing this and other scapular stabilization exercises maintains balance between the opposing muscle groups, and prevents overuse injuries.

Rick Olderman
Physical Therapy
The Prone Arm Waves exercise strengthens the rotator cuff (shoulder muscles running from the scapula to the arm bone) and helps set the humerus (upper arm bone) correctly in the shoulder socket. It's ideal for correcting an anterior gliding humeral head. Of all the exercises, this is the one that's most difficult for people to feel because many are unaware of how their scapulae (shoulder blades) are moving. It's best to have someone check this out initially until you can dial it in.
Fixing You: Shoulder & Elbow Pain: Self-treatment for rotator cuff strain, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, and other diagnoses.

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Fixing You: Shoulder & Elbow Pain: Self-treatment for rotator cuff strain, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, and other diagnoses.

The shoulders are a floating system on the trunk, held in place and moved by muscular control. The foundation of shoulder movement is the shoulder blade which has precise resting and moving...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.