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Field goals are a great simple way to warm up and tone your shoulders. If you sit at a desk it is great exercise to do a couple of times throughout your day.
With your feet together bring your elbows up to your sides in line with your shoulders. Bend your arms to 90 degrees and bring your hands above your elbows palms facing forward fingers spread. Now lower your hands down so that your forearms are horizontal. Go up and down 25 times moving both arms simultaneously. Keep your shoulders relaxed, resist scrunching up. To work with balance slightly lift your heels off while you do the exercise.
If you are feeling weak in your shoulders I suggest the following exercises. The first set actually deals with strengthening you scapular stabilizers (the base of all shoulder movements) first then working in the rotator cuff. The exercises are listed below:
1. Scapular Stabilization exercises-“Prone 6”- You can perform this exercise by lying prone or on your stomach in six (6) different positions. The first position is like what is described above, arms out at your side forming a "T" with your palms facing downwards, hold this position for six (6) seconds. The second position is the "T" but with your thumbs facing upwards. The third position is forming a "Y" with your arms, palms facing downwards. The fourth position is a "Y" with your thumbs facing upwards. The fifth position is with your shoulder and elbows at 90 degrees or basically making a field goal. The sixth and final position is with your arms next to your side attempting to touch your elbows together with your palms facing the table. You should hold each position for six (6 seconds) completing each position three times. You can increase the difficulty by first increasing the time for each hold, then progressing to adding cuff weights or performing the exercise on a physioball. The first time you complete this exercise you should have someone watch you because a common technique error is by using your upper trapezius (or shrugging) to stabilize your arms.
2. Rotator Cuff Exercises-Standing flexion, scaption, abduction, and side–lying external rotation. To perform these exercises start by standing up with your arms next to your side. Pinch your scapula (shoulder blades) together and raise your arms no higher than your shoulders. I would start with no weight then progress in 2# increments, 2 sets of 15. To perform scaption you start the same as the flexion but this time raise your arms at a 45 degree angle. To perform abduction you begin the same as the previous two exercises but raise your arms straight out to your side. Finally to perform side-lying external rotation lay on the side opposite of the shoulder you want to work on. Place a small rolled up towel under your arm with your hand resting on your stomach. Then rotate your arm so that your hand is goes out to about 45 degrees.
If your shoulder feels weak but there is no pains in the shoulder as you move it, there are exercises you can do to help strengthen the shoulder area. Exercise to strengthen the rotator cuff will help your shoulder feel stronger and more stable. Some examples of shoulder exercises include internal and external rotation, empty cans, and reverse flys. To help strengthen all of the shoulder area movements like bench press, push-ups, and military press will help strengthen the front, side, and middle of the shoulder joint. Start with light loads and perform 12-15 repetitions until your shoulder strengthens up. It’s important to remember that your soft tissues like tendons and ligaments take longer to adapt to lifting than your muscles, so do not increase the weight by more than 5-10% between weeks. As you get stronger, gradually increase the weight and decrease the repetitions until you are closer to the 5-7 repetition range.
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.