Dynamic Shoulder Strengthening Exercises

These exercises involve movement and make up a large part of a shoulder rehab program. The can usually begin as soon as pain allows although check with your therapist or trainer which are suitable for your specific injury. Working the medial or internal rotation muscles is important after shoulder injuries, especially dislocations and impingement syndromes.

Medial Roatation



Teaching Points

  • Start with the band attached to a fixed point to your side.
  • Hold other end of the band in one hand, with the elbow bent and upper arm by your side.
  • Keeping the elbow by your side, move your hand towards your stomach as far as is comfortable.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

Muscles Worked

  • Subscapularis.
  • Teres Major.
  • Latissimus Dorsi.

Related Injuries


Pec Fly

The pec fly resistance band exercise strengthens the chest muscles. It is a great alternative to the resistance machine found in gyms, sometimes also known as a Pec Dec.

Teaching Points

  • Attach the centre of the band to a stationary object behind you at chest height.
  • Hold an end in each hand and start with your arms out to the side, just below shoulder height.
  • Keep a small bend in the elbows as you bring your arms forwards so that your hands meet in front of your chest.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

Muscles Worked

  • Pectoralis Major.

Related Injuries

  • Pectoral strains.

Lateral Raise

The lateral raise exercise strengthens the Deltoid muscle, the large one which covers the top of the shoulder joint.

Teaching Points

  • Hold one end of the band in one hand, and attach the other end to something sturdy on the other side of your body.
  • Start with your hand by your side and the band under slight tension.
  • Raise your arm out to the side to just above shoulder height.
  • Slowly return back to the starting position and repeat.

Muscles Worked

  • Anterior fibres of Deltoid.
  • Supraspinatus.

Related injuries


Pullover

The pullover exercise uses a resistance band to work the chest muscles (pecs) and lats.

Aim:

  • To work the pectoral muscles and latissimus dorsi.

Technique:

  • With the band anchored behind the athletes head, the arms are pulled up and over the head.

Muscles worked:

  • Pectoralis major
  • Latissimus dorsi

Shoulder Press

The shoulder press is a very commonly used exercise which can be performed with dumbbells, a barbell, band (as shown here), or a resistance machine.

Teaching points

  • Stand with the centre of the band under your feet and one end in each hand.
  • Bend the elbows and position the hands just above shoulder height.
  • Push your hands above your head, straightening the elbows.
  • Slowly return back to the starting position.

Muscles worked

  • Deltoid.
  • Triceps Brachii.

Standing Chest Press

The standing chest press strengthens the chest muscles, the Pectoralis Major and Minor, as well as the front fibres of the Deltoid shoulder muscle.

Teaching Points

  • Attach the centre of the band to a stationary object and hold one end in each hand.
  • Stand with your back to the attachment, elbows bent and shoulders abducted to 90 degrees (upper arm level with shoulder) so that your hands are next to your chest.
  • Push forwards and straighten your arms out in front of you.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

Muscles Worked

  • Pectoralis Major.
  • Anterior fibres of Deltoid.

Related Injuries


Wood Chops

The wood chop shoulder exercise improves the upper body strength and explosive strength.

Aim:

  • To strengthen the scapular muscles, core stabilizers and triceps.

Technique:

  • The athlete stands one meter in front of a rebound net with a medicine ball held in both hands, over one shoulder as shown.
  • The ball is thrown down into the net using a chopping motion.
  • The athlete catches the rebound, absorbs the impact and then repeats the throw.
  • This can also be performed using a partner to catch and return the ball and should be repeated on both sides.

Muscles worked:

  • The scapular and core stabilizers
  • Triceps brachii


Medicine Ball Alphabet

This medicine ball drawing exercise strengthens the deltoid and the rotator cuff muscles.

Aim:

  • Strengthens the deltoid, infraspinatus, supraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor.

Technique:

  • With the arm straight in front and slightly to the side, the athlete holds a small ball in the hand. They then spell out the alphabet with the ball.

Muscles worked:

  • Deltoid
  • Rotator cuff muscles (infraspinatus,supraspinatus,subscapularis and;teres minor.)


90/90 Internal Roatation

This exercise uses a resistance band to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles and scapular muscles.

Aim:

  •  Strengthens the rotator cuff muscles and scapular muscles.

Technique:

  • The athlete rotates the arm so that the forearm moves forwards, to a horizontal position.
  • They then slowly return to the starting position.
  • As strength develops the supporting hand can be removed.

Muscles worked:

  • Subscapularis
  • Pectoralis major
  • Teres major
  • Latissimus dorsi.

90/90 External Rotation

The external rotation exercises helps to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles.

Aim:

  • To strengthen the rotator cuff and scapular muscles.

Technique:

  • The resistance band is anchored in front and the other end is held in the hand, with the arm raised and elbow bent as shown.
  • The athlete rotates the arm so that the fist points upwards.
  • They then slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

Muscles worked:

  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres minor

This plyometric push-up exercise is great for improving upper body strength and explosive power.

Aim:

  • To strengthen the upper body.

Technique:

  • This can be performed as a wall push-up or on the floor.
  • The athlete assumes the push-up position, starting with the elbows bent.
  • The athlete pushes out with enough force so that the hands leave the surface of the wall or floor.

Muscles worked:

  • This exercise strengthens many muscles. The Primary muscles used are the deltoids, triceps and the pectoralis major.

Advanced version:

Two boxes of 10-15cm height are placed on either side of the athlete. The athlete starts with elbows bent and pushes upwards with enough force so the hands come off the floor and can be placed on the boxes.


Shoulder step ups

This exercise in the extended press up position places the shoulder blades into protraction so increases muscle activation of the serratus anterior or punching muscle.

Aim:

  • To strengthen the serratus anterior and triceps

Technique:

  • The athlete positions themselves ready for a push-up, with either the knees or feet on the floor, depending on strength.
  • A step of 20-30cm is positioned next to the athlete.
  • They then raise one hand at a time onto the step, so that one is on top.
  • The back is then rounded upwards, similar to a cat stretch.

Muscles worked:

  • Serratus anterior
  • Triceps brachii.
  • Pectoralis major

Serratus punch

The Serratus Punch exercise is designed to strengthen the shoulder blade protractors such as Serratus Anterior.

Teaching Points:

  • The athlete lies on their back with the arms pointing up, elbows straight and a medicine ball held between the hands.
  • The ball is pushed upwards by pushing the shoulder forwards and keeping the elbows straight.
  • Hold for 2 seconds, rest and repeat.

Muscles Worked:

  • Serratus Anterior

 


Seated Medicine Ball Rotation

The medicine ball rotation shoulder exercise involves catching and throwing a ball using internal shoulder rotation to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles.

Aim:

  • To increase the explosive internal rotation strength.

Techniques:

  • Start in a seated position, with the arm raised to 90 degrees and elbow bent
  • The athlete catches the ball as thrown by the therapist, and immediately throws the ball back, maintaining the elevated arm position.

Muscles worked:

  • Subscapularis
  • Pectoralis major
  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Teres major.


Extension in prone with dumbell

Shoulder extension in a prone lying position (on the front) to strengthen the posterior shoulder muscles.

Aim:

  • To strengthen the downward rotators and extensors of the scapula and shoulder joint.

Technique:

  • The athlete lies on the table with the shoulder over the edge.
  • Keeping the scapula depressed the athlete moves the arm and weight into full hyperextension at the shoulder.

Muscles worked:

  • Latissimus dorsi
  • Teres major
  • Rhomboids

Scapula Upwards Rotation

This exercises works to strengthen the scapula rotators.

Aim:

  • Strengthens the downward rotators of the scapula.

Technique:

  • With a weight in the hand and thumb facing forwards, the athlete raises the arm, at a 45 degree angle to the body.
  • The arm is lifted as high as position, ensuring the shoulders are not shrugged upwards, before slowly returning to the starting position.

Muscles worked:

  • Scapular rotators.

Scapula Pull Down

This exercise strengthens the scapular depressors using a resistance band.

Aim:

  • Strengthens the scapular depressors

Technique:

  • Keep the shoulder and elbow joints in their start positions throughout the exercise.
  • The athlete depresses the scapula down the back as far as possible and returns to the starting position.

Muscles worked:

  • Rhomboids
  • Lower fibres of trapezius


Bilateral Extension

Bilateral extension using a resistance band to strengthen the scapula muscles.

Aim:

  • The aim of this shoulder exercise is to Increase mobility and strengthen downward rotators and extensors of the scapula

Technique:

  • Athlete holds both ends of a band at hip height with the elbows straight and palms facing inwards.
  • Starting just in front of the body, pull the arms backwards, keeping the elbows straight and squeezing the shoulder blades together and down.

Muscles worked:

  • Rhomboids
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Teres Major

External Rotation Ratraction

This exercise strengthens the rhomboids and middle trapezius. A resistance band is required for this exercise.



Aim:

  • To strengthen rhomboids and middle trapezius

Technique:

  • With the arms by the sides and the elbows bent, the althlete holds a resistance or elastic band between their hands with the palms facing up.
  • Move the hands apart to rotate the shoulders, whilst squeezing the shoulder blades together and down the back. Hold the end position for 2 seconds.
  • Complete 3 sets consisting of 8-12 reps

Muscles worked:

  • Rhomboids
  • Middle Trapezius

Front Raise

This front raise requires a resistance band and is designed to strengthen the front of the shoulder.

Aim:

  • To strengthen the front of the shoulder

Technique:

  • Athlete stands with legs shoulder width apart, placing one end of the elastic band under one foot
  • Change foot position to adjust resistance holding the other end of the band with the hand
  • Keeping your elbows straight, raise your arm in front of your torso until your arm raises just above shoulder height

Muscles worked:

  • Anterior deltoid

Similar exercises:

  • Extension in prone position
  • Hands up robbery

The prone fly shoulder exercise strengthens the rhomboids and the middle trapezius.


Aim:

  • To strengthen the Rhomboid muscles and central part of the trapezius muscle.

Technique:

  • Athlete is on their front over a table of gym ball and raises the arms back while squeezing the scapulae or shoulder blades
  • Perform in a controlled manner and repeat 5 to 10 times per set.

Muscles worked:

  • Rhomboids
  • Middle trapezius

Lateral Rotation Front Lying

Lateral (external) rotation exercises strengthen the rotator cuff muscles.

Aim:

  • To strengthen the teres minor, infraspinatus and posterior deltoid.

Technique:

  • Laying on their front (prone) with the arm out to the side and elbow bent as shown, the athlete rotates the shoulder to lift the weight towards the ceiling as far as is comfortable.

Muscles worked:

  • Teres minor
  • Infraspinatus
  • Posterior fibres of deltoid.

Lateral rotation in standing

using a resistance band. Also known as the External Rotation in standing.

Aim:

  • To strengthen the teres minor, infraspinatus and posterior deltoid.
  • This is a very common shoulder rehabilitation exercise and an easy one to get started with.

Techniques:

  • The athlete stands holding the band with the elbow abducted in 90 degrees.
  • They rotate the shoulder outwards as far as is comfortable and return to the centre.
  • Exercise must be done under control and pain free.

Muscles worked:

  • Teres minor
  • Infraspinatus
  • Posterior deltoid

Lateral Rotation Band Abduction

This lateral rotation exercise strengthens the rotator cuff and requires a resistance band.

Aim:

  • Strengthens the rotator cuff and scapular muscles.

Technique:

  • The athlete sits with the upper arm supported and elbow bent to a right angle as shown. The arm is rotated so that the fist points to the ceiling.

Progression:

  • This can be made more challenging by removing the support of the couch.

Muscles worked:

  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres minor

Lateral rotation in abduction

this exercise uses a resistance band and is also known as the External Rotation in standing.

Aim:

  • To strengthen the teres minor, infraspinatus and posterior deltoid.

Techniques:

  • The athlete stands holding the band with the elbow abducted in 90 degrees.
  • The athlete elevates the arm, ensuring the elbow is also elevated.
  • The shoulder is maintained at 90 degree abduction without horizontal adduction or abduction.

Muscles worked:

  • Teres minor
  • Infraspinatus
  • Posterior deltoid.