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The best shoulder exercise

The best shoulder exercise is one of the most simple ones – simple rotation.

The goal of this shoulder exercise is to keep the motion in your shoulder joint (glenohumeral), coordinate the rotator cuff muscles, and improve your shoulder blade positioning – all while not irritating the shoulder.

This exercise won’t create strong muscles that look good on the beach – but it will help you create a shoulder that works well into the future.

How do you do these shoulder exercises?

  • Keep your elbow close to your side with your hands reaching forwards.

  • Rotate outwards (move your hand away from your body) easily and stop when it hurts.

  • Then rotate inwards (move your hand towards your body, all the way to your belly).

This whole time you should be keeping your elbow tight to your side and your shoulder blades stuck to your back (or in a good posture).

How often should you do these shoulder exercises?

I personally use this shoulder exercise daily in order to perform well as a Chiropractor. Chiropractic work is physical and if I am not able to function, I cannot help my patients. I often will do these exercises in the car on my way to work (One arm at a time!).

Do you need weights to do these exercises?

This exercise can be done with weights or bands, but you don’t need to use them. You will get a lot of benefit through practicing and coordinating these motions.

What are some other shoulder exercises that you recommend to patients?

Other exercises for the shoulder to compliment this one include:

-low rows to build on your shoulder blade positioning and stability

-T’s I’s and Y’s , which are more complicated rotation exercises.

Can a Chiropractor adjust the shoulder?

A Chiropractor is able to adjust the shoulder. There are many ways to adjust and help a shoulder – From helping it find the proper alignment to helping reset rotator cuff muscles. The Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique has specific testing for regions of the body, including the shoulder joint, A/C joint, rotator cuff muscles, and more.

Does posture impact your shoulder?

Posture greatly impacts your shoulder. The effort should be placed on where your head is in relation to your spine. If your head is forward, the shoulders will round forward and your shoulder blades will stick out. If your head is on top of your spine, the shoulders will often sit in a better location.

Unfortunately, many shoulder injuries are due to movements while under poor posture.

Posture matters.

What exercises hurt a shoulder?

In our Chiropractic practice in Caledonia we often see people with injured shoulders. The most common exercise that injures a shoulder is the overhead press. This exercise requires perfect posture and coordination of the shoulder blade, spine, rotator cuff, and deltoid muscles to be effective. If one of these factors is not performed well, injury is sure to follow.

A good rule of thumb to not injure the shoulder through exercises are to not regularly perform exercises in positions where you cannot see your hands. In these positions your shoulder joint often requires perfect coordination to do well, and not get injured.

Other movements that often hurt a shoulder is putting on shirts and coats, reaching for seat belts, and reaching to a back seat in a car. These movements can be part of the general advice of “not seeing your hand” positions that you should avoid if you are trying to avoid challenging your shoulder.

How do you put on a shirt to avoid hurting your shoulder?

In order to put on a shirt or coat without aggravating your shoulder it is best to put the injured arm in first. This requires no movement at the injured shoulder joint.

What about sleep positions?

Unfortunately, sleeping is very difficult when you have a shoulder problem. Try your best to be comfortable even though it will be difficult. Sleeping on your side with the injured shoulder down is often the most painful and can also contribute to the shoulder joint not recovering as quickly. We often find the shoulder joint compressed at the AC joint in patients who sleep on their injured shoulders. Chiropractors are able to adjust this joint to address this compression, but the solution is to not sleep on the shoulder.

As you are healing you will have better sleeps, but this is a process and takes time. It is best to acknowledge the injury and allow healing to happen before you challenge the shoulder again.