Video Series: Shoulder Strength & Stabilization

Shoulder injuries are prevalent for those individuals, who use weight training, as a form of exercise – the result of selecting higher risk exercises, such as the dumbbell lateral (side) shoulder raise at or above parallel to the ground, a behind-the-neck pulldown, and the seated pec-dec (chest exercise) press at a “high-five” position.

In addition, the potential for exercise imbalances that may be created by either participation in overhead sports like tennis, or a training emphasis, where the participant habitually performs too many repetitions of one body segment, in comparison to its posterior counterpart – like a front shoulder press versus the rotator cuff muscles. There are exercises that can be used to reduce the risk of shoulder injuries.

In this series:

Standing Sleeper Stretch

The Standing Sleeper Stretch addresses posterior shoulder tightness. Stand with the side of one shoulder blade weight-bearing against a wall – with the elbow bent at 45 degrees and fingers pointing inward toward the body. Using the other hand, push the forearm and wrist of arm being stretched down until a comfortable stretch is achieved. Hold for a 5-10 count.

Cross-Body Stretch

Addresses posterior shoulder tightness. Set up in the same position as the Standing Sleeper Stretch. Use the uninvolved arm to gently pull the 45-degree angle bent across the body through a horizontal motion parallel to the ground, while maintaining scapular stabilization through wall contact. Hold for a 5-10 count.

Forearm Wall Slide

For upper back strength & scapula stabilization. Assume a position facing a wall with little fingers of hands in contact with a wall and a resistance elastic band around wrists. Pushes your hands into wall to move up the wall – maintaining pressure of hands into wall. The objective is to slide up and down the wall, while maintaining pressure and keeping wrists apart. Try 5 slides.

Wall Slides

An exercise for strengthening the scapula (upper back): Assume a position against a wall with the heels of the feet roughly a foot away. Lean back against the wall with the buttocks and upper back in contact with the wall – in a comfortably position in which you do not hyperextend the low back. With the elbows bent to 90-degress touching the wall and the back of the hands also against the wall, attempt to slide up and down the wall. Only slide to a comfort range, while contracting the abdominal muscle. Try 5 slides.

Serratus Punch

The serratus anterior stabilizes the scapula (shoulder blades) for motions of external rotation – such as the back swing in tennis – and upward rotation – like the tennis serve. Serratus Punch: Assume a position on your back – with arms extended and hands at front shoulder level. With or without a light dumbbell or filled small water in each hand, perform a punch -up towards ceiling while maintaining elbow extension. Return to the position of your back against the ground or table. Try 5-10.

Overhead shoulder rotations

Assume a standing position with the arms by the side with palms facing in with the thumb pointing forward. Lift one arm only, while simultaneously rotating the palm forward with thumb in. When you reach the top – stretching the chest and forearm – then rotate the back of the hand toward the side of the body with finger pointing down. Reverse the process and return the hand to the side of the body – palm in and thumb pointing out. Try 5-10 repetitions.
Shopping cart close