Shoulder pain sucks. Especially when that shoulder pain impedes your daily activities or lifestyle. When it comes to shoulder pain, the cause isn’t always easy to identify and the rehabilitation from shoulder injuries can be even more complicated.
Below, we’ve simplified shoulder pain and the steps to improve the health of your shoulders. The shoulder, or glenohumeral joint, is one of the most complex joints in the body. Like the hip joint, the shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint. However, unlike the hip, the shoulder can perform flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, rotation, and circumduction. This is a lot, so it also means a lot can go wrong. From impingement to dislocation the shoulder is prone to injury and shoulder pain. Through stability or mobility the shoulder plays a role in almost every exercise we do, so it’s important this joint functions properly and moves pain free.
Today we’ll assess the shoulder, release the shoulder, mobilize the shoulder, strengthen and stabilize the shoulder and statically stretch the shoulder in 10 easy steps to bulletproof your shoulders and avoid shoulder pain:
First, assess the shoulder’s range of motion:
1. Wall Angel – pressing overhead identify what feels tight/restricted.
2. Dowel Raise – lifting overhead identify what feels tight/restricted.
Next release tight/restricted muscles:
1. Lat Foam Roll – roll for 1-minute/side tacking down the knots and applying solid pressure.
2. Rhomboid Lacrosse Roll – bring your arm across your body. Roll for 1-minute/side tacking down the knots and applying solid pressure.
Then, mobilize the dysfunctional joints:
1. Overhead Roll-Outs x 15 reps.
2. Dowel Circumduction x 15 reps.
Then strengthen & stabilize:
1. KB Bottoms Up Press – keep your core engaged and perform each rep slowly x 10/side.
2. Banded Pull Aparts – pause for 4 seconds each rep x 10 reps.
Lastly, stretch the tight/overworked muscles:
1. Pec stretch – hold for 45-90 seconds each side.
2. Sleeper Stretch – hold a gentle stretch for 45-90 seconds each side.
This list is not exhaustive; however, it serves as a good starting point to target the most common problem areas and avoid shoulder pain. It does not address shoulder pain associated with things like scapular winging, thoracic immobility, or AC/SC joint problems.