How can I strengthen my shoulders after an injury?

Jaspal R. Singh, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Shoulder injuries, including rotator cuff injury and arthritis, usually benefit from some type of upper back strengthening program. Muscles in this area, including the trapezius and rhomboids, help play an important role in preventing shoulder injuries.

First of all, the most important thing to do before returning to activity is to get clearance from your physician. If you’re cleared from activity a great stabilization exercise for the shoulders is a combo performed on a stability ball, or bench – depending on your core stabilization ability. To perform this exercise lie face down on the ball and extend your arms, in line with your body as if you’re making a Y. Next, slowly move your hands down towards your backside, and once there, hold this position for one count. Then, move your hands all the away down, towards your feet. Once there, hold for a count, and then slowly move back up to the starting position. Repeat this for 12-15 repetitions and be sure to really focus on squeezing your shoulder blades together as you’re performing this exercise.

Depending on what type of shoulder injury you have sustained, Your focus should be to strengthen your rotator cuff muscles. The rotator cuff muscles are 4 muscles that surround the shoulder joint (specifically, the humerus bone) and keep it from subluxing from the glenoid as well as helping to prevent other shoulder injuries.  If you have access to a theraband, tie the band to a door knob and get a small bath towel. Roll the towel up and place it in your armpit. Bend your arm at the elbow at approximately 90 degrees and keep the arm against your body. Grab the band and stand sideways so the shoulder you want to strengthen is away from the door. Make a fist and place it over your belly button. Keeping the elbow bent at 90 degrees and against your body, pull your forearm away from the band until your fist is perpendicular from the line of pull. Hold for a second and then return it to starting position. Repeat for 20-30 reps. Do the exercise twice a day.
Yes. Do high reps with light weights and shoulder rolls. Keep it simple. Go with LATERAL RAISES, FIELD GOALS and SHOULDER PRESSES, all in YOU: THE OWNER'S MANUAL book and matching DVD.

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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.