These exercises will help you keep your shoulders strong.
Shoulder injuries, as common as they are, can be incredibly frustrating and sometimes unavoidable. Almost everyone, regardless of age, will experience some form of shoulder issue in their lifetime. The good news is, there are simple strengthening exercises you can incorporate into your routine to help prevent these injuries.
Studio 5 Fitness Contributor Emily Nelson shares a series of exercises to keep your shoulders strong, mobile, and injury free.
Find more from Emily on Instagram @highfitnessemily.
5 Exercises to Keep Your Shoulders Strong
The Importance of Preventive Exercises
Before diving into the exercises, it’s important to understand the significance of preventive measures, especially as we age. These exercises not only help maintain shoulder mobility, but also contribute to overall wellness. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just looking to keep your shoulders in good shape, these exercises are suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
Exercise 1: Rotator Cuff Mobility
Start by using an exercise ball or a rolled-up towel against a wall. Stand with your hand comfortably pressed against the ball, and, keeping it in contact with the wall, make large round circles with your hand. Repeat this motion 10 to 15 times in one direction and then switch sides. This exercise helps improve the range of motion in your rotator cuff, providing dynamic stability.
Exercise 2: Banded Shoulder Walks
Use a resistance band or a dish towel for this exercise. Place the band around your hands, palms facing inwards. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and with your palms facing in, extend your arms diagonally upwards and then back down. This exercise targets different planes of the shoulder and can be adjusted for different resistance levels.
Exercise 3: Banded Diagonal Raises
With the resistance band still in place, this time, have your palms facing up. Extend your arms diagonally upward while keeping your palms facing upward. Once again, aim for three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions. This exercise helps strengthen various parts of the shoulder, promoting stability and mobility.
Exercise 4: Thread the Needle Stretch
Kneel down with one knee and one leg extended. Place one hand on the ground and the other on the ground under your chest, palm facing up. Thread the upper arm through the space under your extended arm and then open up, following your gaze. This exercise enhances both shoulder and hip mobility, making it a two-in-one stretch.
Exercise 5: Bear Pose
Come onto all fours with your fists on the ground. Arch your upper back, lengthening your arms as much as possible, and then push down, decompressing the shoulders into a “cat pose.” For an added challenge, lift your knees off the ground slightly. This exercise is fantastic for improving shoulder range of motion while also engaging the core.
Incorporating these exercises into your routine can go a long way in maintaining healthy and mobile shoulders. Remember, prevention is key, and these exercises are suitable for anyone, regardless of their current fitness level. By dedicating a few minutes to shoulder strengthening and mobility, you can enjoy a more active and pain-free lifestyle. So, take the time to care for your shoulders, and they’ll thank you in the long run.