Stable Shoulder Workout
Whether you are a swimmer, tennis player, builder or simply do the laundry – having a stable shoulder is super important in preventing injury! With repetitive overhead actions, the shoulder can fall victim to overuse, resulting in poor movement, pain and loss of range of motion. Here are some simple exercises you can incorporate into your exercise routine to keep your shoulders in tip-top shape!
Scap (or scapular) push-ups use a small range of motion to improve shoulder stability, by strengthening the serratus anterior muscle (located on the sides of the rib cage). They may seem like nothing fancy, but trust us they are worth your time!
- Start with your hands on the floor. Push back into a plank position (with knees lifted or lowered depending on your strength).
- Whilst keeping your arms straight, retract or draw your shoulder blades together. After a pause, protract or draw your shoulder blades away from each other, your shoulders and upper back should look slightly rounded.
- Continue to retract and protract for 3 sets of 10 reps.
Remember to engage your core, tuck your chin and don’t let your hips drop throughout the entire set!
A banded row uses a theraband (or resistance band) to work the upper back muscles, helping support good posture and lessen the strain on your shoulders. Choose a level of band and give this one a go!
- Secure the band to a tree, pole or any secure anchor point.
- Hold each end and take a few steps back so the band is taut and your arms are straight.
- Pull your elbows back so they graze your ribs. Squeeze your upper back and pause for 3 seconds (remember to keep your shoulders down and relaxed!).
- Slowly return your arms to the starting position (parallel to the floor).
- Repeat for 3 sets of 10 reps.
We love wall circles as they not only strengthen the serratus anterior but also target the deep muscles in your rotator cuff. All you need is a wall (duh!), basketball or light medicine ball and a little bit of coordination!
- Place the ball at shoulder height, with one hand firmly placed at the centre.
- Place your other hand down by your side and keep your shoulders down and relaxed.
- Start to make small clockwise circles for 10 counts, then change to anticlockwise circles for 10.
- Once you have got the hang of that, try to advance to figures of eight for 10.
- Repeat on the other arm.
- Repeat for 2 sets.
- McPhillips, K. (2021). If Your Shoulder Mobility Is the Pits, Meet the ‘Scapular Push up’. [Online]. Available at: https://www.wellandgood.com/shoulder-mobility/ (Accessed 29 Jan 2022)
- MasterClass staff. (2021). Scapular Push-Up Guide: How to Master Scapular Push Ups. [Online]. Available at: https://www.masterclass.com/articles/scapular-push-ups-guide#3-benefits-of-doing-scapular-pushups (Accessed 29 Jan 2022)
- Cronkleton, E. (2022). 6 Resistance Band Exercises for Shoulders. [Online]. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/shoulder-band-exercise (Accessed 29 Jan 2022).
- Dale, P. (n.d.). Exercises to Strengthen the Stabilizers in the Shoulder. [Online]. Available at: https://www.livestrong.com/article/334944-stabilizing-strengthening-shoulder-scapula-exercises/ (Accessed 29 Jan 2022)