Recently, you may have seen me hint at a minor shoulder injury that I sustained. Well, after 6 months of nagging pain, I decided to find out what was really going on.
Let me paint a quick picture about my personality: I broke my right hand in 3 places a few months back and didn’t go to the doctor for 2 weeks (I only went to confirm that my hand looked like a balloon because it was in fact broken.) After I confirmed this, I left without any harmful pharmaceuticals as my pain tolerance is high and I wont take that crap anyway.
Luckily for me I have an uncle that’s a doctor and get see him every holiday. This is great for avoiding the hospital! This past thanksgiving after everybody finished desert, I said “Uncle T, what’s up with an adjustment and a diagnosis?” We’re similar in the sense that we jump head first into a challenge, so he immediately busts out his chiropractic table, adjusts me and proceeds to do a series of tests… Turns out, what I thought was a minor muscle tear or two, was actually AC joint separation, torn deltoid, partially torn trap, and a torn muscle in my neck. Holy crap!
I’ve been lifting, riding, fighting, playing rugby and generally running a muck for the last 6 months with a broken upper body!… #BeastMode 😉
Point is, I decided to take a different approach with my training, more specifically my upper body training. And if you’ve been experiencing nagging shoulder pain, perhaps it’s time for you to do the same.
It’s been just over a month and I’m feeling great with very little pain to report. My muscles are functioning much better and are no longer visually deformed looking at the former tear/strain sites.
If you’ve been suffing from a shoulder injury these could be just what you need to recover. Here are the exercises that I’ve been utilizing to rehab my shoulder. Check em’ out and let me know what you think.
Shoulder Rehab Exercises
After a shoulder injury, it’s important for you to rebuild the strength, while restoring your range of motion. Until the area has fully healed, it’ll be dangerous to do your regular training routines. Because of this, you’ll want to do the following shoulder rehab exercises with care. If you experience any pain while doing these rehab exercises, consider a consult with your doctor.
The Pendulum Maneuver
This is perhaps one of the more common shoulder rehab exercises that will be recommended to you. For this exercise, you are going to naturally work on swinging your arms in an effort to restore your full range of motion.
You will begin by placing your uninjured hand on the back of a secure piece of furniture. Now, begin to bend your upper body forward, allowing your torso to become parallel with the floor. You will then allow your shoulder to relax naturally and slowly swing your injured arm. Five circles can be a great starting point, with you working to eventually increase the number of circles that you will be able to do. If you are prepared to do multiple sets, take a minute break and then repeat the circular motion.
Shoulder Blade Pressing
This is one of the shoulder rehab exercises you can do that will have you sitting in a chair. With a straight back, begin to move your shoulder blades in a backwards motion, but keeping your arms on both of your sides. You will now slowly squeeze as tight as you can, without causing yourself any pain. When you reach that point, count to 10 and then allow your shoulders to relax. You can do this again as many times as you feel comfortable doing.
Stretching your muscles as part of your shoulder rehab exercises, will help to ensure that blood circulation starts to resume naturally in your body and that can promote healing. This exercise is as simple as putting your hands behind your head and clasping them together while you squeeze your shoulders together in front of your body. Do this for a count of 10 and release. Doing this several times a day will help to promote the healing process and help you to get back to normal.
This is exactly what it sounds like. You are going to grasp the pull up bar or something of the sort and completely relax with your feet still on the floor for a bit of support or of if your not in pain you can utilize your full bodyweight. You should feel a very gentle stretch and loose after each session. Over time gravity starts to reshape our shoulder joint. When you hang you’re streching the ligaments in your shoulder back out. This relieves a great deal of strain and feels awesome immediately after. Give it a shot.
I’ve been doing both light barbell and dumbbell shrugs. Stand with your arms at your sides and hold very light (two to five pound) dumbbells. Shrug your shoulders up and hold that position for a count of two to three seconds. Repeat four times resting 30-45 seconds between sets.
External / Internal Rotations
With a more severe injury your strengthening should initially be isometric, meaning contracting the muscles without movement.
Start by standing side with your to a wall, with your upper arm by your side and bent 90 degrees at the elbow. Place the back of your wrist against the wall and try to rotate the arm at the shoulder, against the resistance of the wall.
In order to perform Internal rotations simply place your palm agaist the wall/door jam rather than your wrist.
If you’re experiencing severe or prolonged pain be sure you speak with your doctor before doing any of these shoulder rehab exercises. The goal will be to get your body back to where it was, without doing anything that could potentially result in lasting damage to your shoulder.
Keep training hard,
David “Shoulder Rehab” McCready
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