Shoulder Exercises To Build Strength and Prevent Shoulder Injuries recommended by Dr. Tehrany
As the most complex joint in the body, the shoulder joint is exceptionally prone to complicated injuries and conditions. Shoulder injuries are among the most common injuries that orthopedic surgeons see in their patients.
Shoulder injuries often occur as a result of wear and tear over time from performing ordinary tasks. Additionally, they also happen due to a traumatic event on the shoulder. A fall, collision, or an unnatural position of the shoulder that lasts for a more extended period can severely impact the shoulder’s health.
When detected early, shoulder injuries can be highly treatable and manageable. Moreover, at the early stages of any injury or condition, conservative treatment options can successfully relieve the pain and restore the shoulder’s health.
Dr. Armin Tehrany, the founder of Manhattan Orthopedic Care, firmly believes that education immensely helps in shoulder injury prevention. Therefore, he gladly provides various tips, recommendations, and valuable knowledge on how to keep the shoulders healthy, happy and pain-free.
According to Dr. Tehrany, numerous shoulder exercises strengthen the joint and prevent severe injuries while doing many activities.
Following are shoulder exercises that anyone can do at home, in the park, or at the gym. As per Dr. Tehrany’s recommendation, anyone should incorporate these exercises into their workouts to build stronger and healthier muscles around the joint.
Push-ups, in general, help build up strength in the muscles around the shoulder joint. When done with the correct technique, push-ups improve the health of the muscles and tendons that hold the upper arm bone into the socket. They require no equipment. Thus, anyone can do them at home.
From the variety of push-ups, Dr. Tehrany recommends pike push-ups. It is a more demanding variation that places more weight onto the shoulders and the triceps when pushing back. It works the following muscles: shoulder, serratus anterior, upper back, and triceps.
How to do pike push-up?
Place both hands on the floor shoulder-width apart. Keep feet in line with hand placement. With arms straight, lift the butt in the air and bend the hips into a V shape. Breathe in, and bend the elbows to lower the head. If possible, gently touch the floor. Breathe out and push the arms straight and bring back the body to the starting position. Repeat this at least ten times.
Resistance band pull-apart
The resistance band pull-apart is a shoulder strengthening exercise that works out major shoulder muscles alongside upper back muscles. Additionally, it improves body posture, which leads to relaxed and healthy shoulders. It is among the favorite shoulder exercises for people who work out as it targets most of the shoulder and back muscles that are usually missed with other exercises.
How to do it?
Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart. Take the resistance band in the hands. Place the arms at chest level, shoulder-width apart, and slowly start pulling the band apart by moving the arms laterally away from the shoulders. Throughout the movement, keep the band at chest level. When the maximum stretch is achieved, start bringing the arms together with control. Do 10-15 repetitions.
This is a dynamic movement that strengthens the arms, the shoulders, the back, and the abs. When performed correctly, the tabletop lift increases the stability of the shoulders and the arms.
How to do it?
Begin in a seated position with legs bent and the feet flat on the floor. Keep the back straight. Press the palms into the mat behind the body with the fingertips turned towards the glutes. Breathe in and slowly lift the hips until the thighs are parallel to the ceiling. Hold at the top for a few seconds. Breathe out and lower the hips down. Repeat 10-15 times.
Downward dog plank
Downward dog planks work the entire back and stretch and open the shoulders perfectly. The upper body gets most of the work done in this exercise. It stimulates blood flow, thus, increases energy. Additionally, this exercise improves the body posture, leading to less stiffness and tightness in the neck and shoulders.
How to do it?
Start in a plank position with the wrists right under the shoulders. Keep the arms shoulder-width apart and the legs hip-width apart. Then, get the hands 6 inches in front of you and spread out the fingers. Tuck the toes and bring the hips up, creating a reversed V shape. Slowly bring the hips down, back to the starting position. Do 10-15 repetitions.
This exercise targets the muscles in the upper back. A reverse fly activates the rhomboid muscles in the upper back and the shoulder region. Increasing the strength of the muscles in the upper back helps to balance the strength in the shoulders, preventing them from painful shoulder injuries.
How to do it?
Start in a standing position, keeping the feet hip-width apart, and hold dumbbells with the palms facing each other. Bring the upper body forward to a 45-degree angle with the floor. Keep the elbows slightly bent. Slowly raise the arms to the side until the elbows are at shoulder level. Do not stretch the arm entirely and focus on keeping it slightly bent. Use the upper back muscles to control the movement and squeeze the shoulder blades together when the arms are up. Slowly lower the arms down, keeping the back straight. Do 15-20 repetitions.
While side planks primarily target the abs and the obliques, they also activate the shoulders to provide the body with balance. This exercise doesn’t place stress on the lower back, making it perfect for people with lower back pain.
How to do it?
Start laying on the right side with the elbow directly under the shoulder. Keep the legs extended, and feet placed one over the other. With control, lift the body from the ground, keeping a nice long line from head to toes. Keep the ear far away from the shoulder to maintain a proper neck and back position. When in control and stable, lift the left arm in line with the shoulder. Keep the position for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
While doing the exercises, the shoulder should feel active. If an exercise is painful to perform, take a rest, try again, or continue with another. If the pain is constant and accompanied by stiffness, discomfort, or limited motions, get an appointment with Dr. Tehrany, one of the best shoulder specialists in New York.