Shoulder Proprioception Exercises

Shoulder proprioception exercises are all about the co-ordination of the joint. Proprioception is our sense and awareness of where parts of the body are. This sensory information comes from tiny sensors which relay information about joint position, tension and stretch in the muscles. Following injury this is damaged and needs to be rehabilitated to prevent future injury as well as restore the athlete back to optimum physical fitness.

Ball Catches

The Ball catch shoulder exercise on the hands and knees requires a partner.

Aim:

  • To improve general scapular and core stabilization.

Technique:

  • This exercise requires a partner to throw the ball towards one of the athlete's hands.
  • The athlete catches the ball and throws it back.
  • The partner catches the ball and throws it to the athlete's other hand.
  • The ball is always thrown in an under arm motion.

Muscles worked:

  • Scapular stabilizers
  • core stabilizers


 

Medicine Ball Rotation From Behind

This shoulder exercise strengthens the rotator cuff and scapular muscles dynamically.

Aim:

  • To strengthen the rotator cuff and scapular muscles.

Technique:

  • The athlete sits with their back to the therapist, with the arm raised and elbow bent.
  • The therapist tosses the ball to the athlete, who catches it, controls the rotation of the shoulder, before reversing the movement to throw the ball back.
  • The elbow must be maintained in an elevated position.

Muscles worked:

  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres minor


Medicine Ball Rotation - Supine

This exercise strengthens the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder.

Aim:

  • To improve the strength of the rotator cuff muscles.

Technique:

  • The athlete lies on their back with the arm raised to 90 degrees, elbow bent and resting the arm on the couch.
  • The therapist drops the ball from shoulder height and the athlete catches it.
  • This can quickly be progressed so that the ball is immediately thrown back to the therapist.

Muscles worked:

  • Subscapularis
  • Teres Major
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Pectoralis Major


 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.)


Lateral Rotation in Side Lying

The Lateral Rotation side lying exercise works the glenohumeral joint, inparticular the rotator cuff muscles.

Aim:

  • Strengthens the teres minor, infraspinatus and the posterior deltoid.

Technique:

  • In a side-lying position as shown and with the arm supported and elbow bent to a right angle, the athlete lifts the weight upwards, keeping the upper arm resting against the body.

Muscles worked:

  • Teres minor
  • Infraspinatus
  • Posterior fibres of Deltoid.


Scapula Upwards Rotation

This exercise 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

 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

Seated Push Up

The seated push up exercise works on the scapulothoraic body segment.

Aim:

  • Strengthens the pectoralis minor, lower trapezius and the latissimus dorsi.

Technique:

  • The athlete sits with their hands by their sides, pushing down to lift the hips from the couch (or chair).
  • The elbows must be fully extended before the athlete returns to the seated position.

Muscles worked:

  • Lower trapezius
  • Pectoralis minor
  • Latissimus dorsi

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