If you have a shoulder injury, your primary concern probably isn’t how to exercise for shoulder injury recovery. It’s how to stop the pain, right? Fortunately, there are ways to help relieve the pain and begin the process of healing. A shoulder injury can have many causes—ranging from an overuse injury (like throwing too many baseballs in practice) to a traumatic event (like falling on your throwing arm while playing shortstop).
If you experience sudden or persistent pain in your shoulder, it’s important that you talk to your doctor and get a diagnosis as soon as possible. Recovery from a shoulder injury will likely take several months. But with dedication and diligence, you can recover much faster than most people who experience the same type of injury. Here are some effective ways how to exercise for shoulder injury recovery:
What to Do Immediately After Shoulder Injury?
Immediately after a shoulder injury, you want to keep the shoulder joint as still as possible. This is because moving the joint during this time could cause more harm and delay healing. If you experience a sudden injury, like a fall on your arm, you’ll likely experience pain and swelling. You’ll also want to keep the injured arm above your heart to reduce the chances of blood collecting in the shoulder joint.
If you have a shoulder injury that was caused by overuse, you may experience pain and discomfort while moving the shoulder. If you have a shoulder injury, avoid these exercises: overhead pressing, bench pressing, rowing, lifting heavy weights, arm wrestling, wrestling, swimming, and lifting weights while standing on your toes (like with squats).
If you have a sudden injury to your throwing shoulder, stop doing what caused the injury—immediately. If you’re experiencing pain while doing weight-lifting or other exercises, stop the exercise. Continuing with the painful exercise will only make the injury worse. If you have a shoulder injury, don’t try to “tough it out.” It’s important to get medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you don’t think the injury is that serious, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor. He or she will be able to rule out any serious causes for the pain. Your doctor may also be able to recommend some pain-relieving treatments. Remember, your doctor will be able to help you most if he or she is aware of the severity of your injury.
Should You Exercise With a Shoulder Injury?
It’s common for people to ask: Should you exercise with a shoulder injury? The answer is yes, but let me clarify why you should do it. When you have a shoulder injury, your muscles will begin to waste away because they are not receiving enough nutrients to function properly. This is a normal process when you’re injured. Your body is trying to protect the injured tissue by giving it less nutrients so it can heal properly.
With proper nutrition, rest, and a bit of patience, the injury will heal in a few weeks. But if you don’t exercise regularly, your muscles will weaken during this time. Exercising regularly will prevent your muscles from getting weak and wasting away. Exercising regularly will also help you get back to your normal routine faster. You can begin strengthening your shoulder as soon as the pain subsides.
When most people experience a sudden or traumatic injury, they’re inclined to think that the best course of action is to rest. That’s true for most injuries, but it’s not necessarily true for every injury. The best way to heal a shoulder injury is to continue exercising the healthy muscles around the injured area. That can help speed up the process of healing and allow you to get back to full strength before you know it. Here is also how to self-massage your upper trapezius muscle.
There are some injuries, however, that may be too severe to continue exercising. If you experience any of the following signs, you may want to speak with a doctor before continuing with your workout schedule:
1. Continual pain at the site of injury with no signs of improvement.
2. Disabling pain that prevents you from sleeping or performing basic functions.
3. An increase in pain when moving the joint.
4. Increased swelling or discoloration of the site.
How Can I Strengthen My Shoulder After an Injury?
To strengthen your shoulders, you’ll want to focus on exercises that don’t put excessive strain on the injured muscles. Exercises like shrugs and presses are often the most common ways to strengthen the shoulder region. One exercise that you can use to help strengthen the shoulder muscles is the shoulder shrug. To perform this exercise, you’ll want to stand up straight and shrug your shoulders up towards your ears as high as possible. Hold the position for a few seconds before slowly lowering your shoulders back down to the original position.
You can also use lighter weights and perform more repetitions with these exercises for how to exercise for shoulder injury recovery.
The best way to strengthen your shoulder after an injury is through proper warm-ups and stretching exercises. You can also add some simple weight-lifting exercises to your routine.
1. Warm-ups and stretching exercises - Warm up your shoulder muscles before beginning any exercise. Stretching exercises will also help reduce the risk of re-injury.
2. Adding weight-lifting exercises to your routine - If you are feeling strong and your pain subsides, you can add some simple weight-lifting exercises to your routine. Exercises like the bench press and shoulder shrugs are a great place to start.
3. Bench press - Lie on a bench and place a barbell on your upper chest. Slowly press the barbell upwards until your arms are fully extended.
4. Shoulder shrugs - Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms at your sides. Slowly raise your shoulders towards your ears. Hold the contraction for about 5 seconds before slowly lowering the weights back to the starting position.
How Long Does an Injured Shoulder Muscle Take to Heal?
Depending on the severity of the injury, it can take anywhere from one week to six months for a shoulder muscle to heal. If you’re fortunate enough to experience a minor shoulder injury, you could see a full recovery in less than a month. A moderate injury may take three months, and a severe injury can take six months or longer to heal.
The only way to know for sure is to see a doctor and get an accurate diagnosis. You’ll likely see the most progress during the first three months of recovery. That’s when you should focus on strengthening your rotator cuff and scapular muscles. Your progress will slow down after that, but you’ll be able to continue strengthening your muscles and reaping the benefits for years to come.
The healing time will depend on the severity of your injury and your dietary and exercise habits during that time. If you eat a healthy diet that includes enough protein, and you exercise regularly, you can expect your shoulder to heal much faster than normal. If you don’t pay attention to your diet and exercise, you can expect your shoulder to take much longer to heal.
Shoulder Muscle Strengthening
Your shoulder muscles will strengthen as you continue to exercise. But you should also be careful not to cause further injury to your shoulder muscles. Here are some things you can do to strengthen your shoulder muscles without re-injuring your shoulder:
1. Use lighter weights - Start with the lightest weights you can lift. You can always increase the weight later.
2. Watch your posture - Good posture is important whether you are lifting weights or not. Make sure you are lifting your weights correctly.
3. Use proper form - You can also use a mirror to check your form as you lift your weights.
4. Rest between sets - Give your shoulder muscles enough time to recover between sets and exercise sessions.
It’s important to not only focus on strengthening the rotator cuff muscles around the shoulder joint. You also want to focus on strengthening the scapular muscles. Those muscles help to keep the shoulder joint in place and also assist in stabilizing rotational movements.
One exercise that targets the scapular muscles is the scapular wall slide. You’ll want to place your forearms against a wall with your elbows bent at 90-degree angles. Then, slide your elbows up the wall as high as possible without lifting your hands off the wall. Hold the position for 10 to 20 seconds before sliding back down to the starting position.
What is the Best Exercise for a Shoulder Injury?
The best exercises for muscles around the shoulder joint depend on the type of injury you’ve experienced. If you have a rotator cuff injury and impingement, the best exercise for a shoulder injury recovery is the scapular wall slide. If you have a shoulder tear, the best exercise for a shoulder injury recovery is the scapular wall slide and the FEF (Forearm Extensor Flow) exercise.
The best exercise for a shoulder injury is the exercise that does not re-injure your shoulder. The best way to stay safe while exercising is to use proper form. Some of the best exercises to help with shoulder injury recovery include the bench press, shoulder shrugs, and squats. These exercises are easy to do correctly and help strengthen your shoulders.
1. Bench press - Lie on a bench and place a barbell on your upper chest. Slowly press the barbell upwards until your arms are fully extended.
2. Shoulder shrugs - Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms at your sides. Slowly raise your shoulders towards your ears. Hold the contraction for about 5 seconds before slowly lowering the weights back to the starting position.
3. Squats - Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold a barbell or dumbbells in each hand. Slowly lower your hips towards the floor until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold the contraction for about 5 seconds before returning to the starting position.
Core Exercises for Shoulder Injury Recovery
A strong core is essential to a healthy shoulder joint. You’ll want to focus on exercises that improve your core strength while also concentrating on improving shoulder flexibility. One exercise that you can use to strengthen your core muscles is the plank pose. To perform this exercise, you’ll want to get into a push-up position with your forearms on the ground and your toes on the floor. Then, hold the position for as long as possible while maintaining proper posture.
Another great exercise for shoulder injury recovery is the seated scapular shrug. To perform this exercise, sit up with your back straight and your shoulders relaxed. Then, lift your shoulders up towards your ears as high as possible. Hold the position for a few seconds before slowly lowering your shoulders back down. Repeat for two to three sets of 10 to 15 reps each.
Stretching Exercises for Shoulder Injury
You can also use some stretching exercises for how to exercise for shoulder injury recovery. Stretching exercises are especially helpful if you have a rotator cuff injury. One exercise that you can use to help improve flexibility is the scapular wall slide with a twist. To perform this exercise, you’ll want to stand in front of a wall with your forearms touching the wall. Then, slide your arms up the wall as high as possible without lifting your hands off the wall. Next, twist your upper body to one side while keeping your arms against the wall. Hold the position for five seconds before twisting to the other side. Repeat for 10 to 12 reps on each side.
Another great exercise for shoulder injury recovery is the wall scapular stretch. To perform this exercise, stand in front of a wall with your arms against the wall. Then, slide your arms up the wall as high as possible without lifting your hands off the wall. Hold the position for 10 to 20 seconds before sliding your arms back down to the starting position. Repeat for two to three sets of 10 to 15 reps each.
Exercises for Improving Shoulder Flexibility
For maximum flexibility, you may want to perform exercises that stretch your shoulders and upper back. Some of the best exercises for improving flexibility include:
1. Shoulder stretches - You can use a yoga mat or a towel to perform seated or standing shoulder stretches.
2. Wall scapular stretches - Stand with your back against a wall and raise both arms above your head.
3. Torso side bends - This exercise can be performed while seated or standing.
4. Shoulder rotations - To perform this exercise, you’ll want to stand upright with your arms at your sides. Then, slowly rotate your upper torso to one side while keeping your arms straight. Repeat the same motion on the other side.
5. Chest stretch - Place your palms against a wall with your arms fully extended. Shift your weight towards the wall until you feel tension in your chest muscles. Hold the contraction for about 30 seconds before switching arms.
6. Seated twist - Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Place your right palm on the floor beside your right hip. Slowly twist your torso towards your right hand until you feel tension in your left side. Hold the contraction for about 30 seconds before switching sides.
Shoulder flexibility exercises are mainly used to recover from rotator cuff injuries. These exercises are best done when you have recovered from your injury and have regained full shoulder range of motion.
What Exercises to Avoid With Shoulder Injury?
You’ll also want to avoid exercises that apply too much strain on your shoulders. When doing exercises that work your shoulder muscles, it is important to maintain good posture and keep your shoulders relaxed.
It is important to avoid exercises that put excess stress on your shoulder joint. This includes pushing too heavy a weight during strength training, not warming up properly, doing too many reps, and not doing enough resistance work if you are trying to add muscle, among other things.
It is also important to choose the right posture for your exercises. For example, during a bench press, you want to make sure that your shoulders are relaxed and not tensed up. You also have to be careful with exercises like push-ups. You have to make sure that your body is in correct form, with your elbows tucked in to reduce stress on your shoulders.
You need to avoid any exercises that put excessive stress on your shoulders or push them past their limits.