Frozen Shoulder Exercises

Part 1 frozen shoulder exercises focus on shoulder mobility exercises with the aim of increasing or at least maintaining range of motion.

Frozen shoulder mobility exercises

The following frozen shoulder exercises focus on mobility. They are important in the early stages of frozen shoulder rehabilitation and should be done regularly every day. They may be uncomfortable but should not be painful. We recommend seeking professional advice before attempting any frozen shoulder exercises or rehabilitation.

Pendulum exercises

Pendulum shoulder exercisesPendulum swinging of the arm is a great exercise for frozen shoulder and a gentle way of improving mobility. Stand in a slightly bent over position and support the body weight with the unaffected arm on a chair or table. Swing the affected arm in back and forth and circular motions, starting small and gradually increasing the movement.

Play pendulum exercise video.

Pole exercises

Pole exercise for shoulderPole or wand exercises are a useful way of increasing the range of motion at the shoulder. Using a long object such as a broom handle held in both hands, the affected frozen shoulder is taken out to the side as far as possible. Apply pressure using the good arm and broom stick to try to push it a bit further. Hold for 10 seconds and try to push a bit further again. This can be done in a number of positions.

Play pole exercises video.

Therapist mobilizations

More powerful than frozen shoulder exercises that can be done at home are mobilizations by a trainer or therapist. They will mobilize the shoulder at its end range of movement. Exercises should only be done by experienced therapists.

One method involves lying on your back, raise the arm upwards. If the athlete can raise the arm 90 degrees then the weight of the arm will act as a mobilizing force. The therapist can either use short firm oscillating movements or sustained pressure at the end range of movement to increase joint range.

Another technique is the same as above but the athlete is in the side lying position. The arm is abducted (moved out to the side) to 90 degrees or as far as possible and then either sustained pressure or oscillating movements can be used. The less painful the restriction, the more vigorously the stretch / mobilisation can be applied. The therapist will usually judge this from the expression / reaction on the athletes face.

Next > Frozen shoulder exercises part 2