What exercise can I do for my shoulders?

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Two great exercises for the shoulders the front raise and lateral raise:

  • Front raise – grab a set of dumbbells or something that has weight to it, preferably 1-5 pounds. Hold the weight in front of your leg. Soften your knees and keep your shoulder down and back while your chest stays tall. Next, raise the weights forward until they are parallel with the ground. Following, return to start and repeat. Complete 2-3 set of 8-12 repetitions.
  • Lateral raise – Complete the same as above with weights and form. Only different, hold weights along sides of your legs. Lift weights along side of body as if you were about to make a t with your arms. Lift until parallel and repeat.
Grant Cooper, MD
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
To exercise your shoulders, sit in a chair and hold a 3-pound dumbbell in each hand (these can be purchased from a sporting good store if you are exercising at home). Your hands should hang at your sides. Turn your hands so that your thumbs face 45 degrees to the outside. This is important particularly if you have ever had any shoulder pain because, by rotating your thumbs outward, you actually also rotate part of the bone in your shoulder so that it does not rub against the tendons that often causes shoulder pain. If you have had shoulder pain, or have been told you have impingement syndrome, try keeping your thumbs pointing up whenever you are carrying anything, including weights or groceries. With the weights at your side, raise your arms out to your sides as if you were trying to fly. Be sure to keep your arms slightly bent at the elbows to keep pressure off of these joints. Do not swing your arms; keep the movement slow and controlled. Don't bend your wrists, but keep them in an even line with your arm. As you raise the weights, remember to inhale and keep your stomach muscles contracted to protect your spine. Pause when your arms are at 90 degrees to your body (level with your shoulders) and slowly lower the weights as you exhale. Repeat. Once you can do 3 sets of 12 repetitions, increase the weight. Alternatively, you can do this exercise while standing. If you choose to stand, be sure to keep your knees slightly bent (3 - 5 degrees), your abdominal muscles contracted, and your back straight.

Still sitting in the chair holding the 3-pound dumbbells, hold your arms up at your sides as if you were showing off your biceps. Next, with your palms facing inward to your body, raise the dumbbells over your head and bring them together as you straighten your elbows. Feel the contraction in your shoulders. Pause at the top of the motion, then bring the dumbbells down to your sides. Be sure to keep your back straight and your stomach muscles contracted throughout this movement. If you need to arch your back to get the weight above your head, use a lighter weight. Keep your abdominal muscles contracted throughout the movement. Remember to inhale as you extend your arms over your head, and exhale as you bring your arms down until your elbows are at 90 degrees. Do not drop your elbows beneath your shoulders. Once you can do 3 sets of 12 repetitions, increase the weight.
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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.