Shoulder impingement exercises are performed to rehabilitate the shoulder impingement syndrome which may occur due to athletic injuries. These include exercises to enhance mobility and increase strength. For the rehabilitation process to be deemed successful, it is imperative that the shoulder joint has become fully mobile.
A good test of complete ability is to check whether the shoulder blade and the humerus move together, in harmony. During sustained injuries, these generally lose their rhythm. The exercises for shoulder impingement comprise two types of exercises — stretches for mobility, followed by strengthening exercises.
7 Shoulder Impingement Exercises For Quick Recovery
Here are 7 shoulder impingement exercises classified into two broader categories, Stretches and Strengthening Exercises.
Stretches For Mobility
Stretches ought to be done regularly, and must be continued during the entire rehabilitation procedure. Some of the important exercises which need to be performed for fast recovery are:
- Chest Stretch: For this, you need to place an arm against a fixed point such as a door frame. Then lean in and turn away from it, stretching your chest muscles. You should feel the front of your shoulders stretching as you hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds. However, you shouldn’t feel any pain.
- Anterior Shoulder Stretch: For this, you need to grab hold of something above you, such as a doorframe, and then lean forward while your arms stretch back. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds as you feel the pressure on the front of your shoulders or your chest. Repeat this exercise thrice.
- Posterior Shoulder Stretch: For this, you need to stretch one arm in front of your chest, and with the other arm encircle it, pulling it tightly. This will cause you your back to stretch a little as well. Once you feel the pressure hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds and then repeat the process thrice.
- Supraspinatus Stretch: This involves placing one of your arms on your lower back and then using the other hand to pull the elbow forward as much as possible. You should feel a pressure on the back of your shoulders. This position needs to be held in place for 20 to 30 seconds and then repeated 5 times.
These exercises should be continued throughout the rehabilitation process. In fact, it is better to perform them just a little at a time but regularly rather than do an intensive session and then let go of it as soon as the condition becomes better.
These are performed for the rotator cuff muscles. These muscles are responsible for bringing stability to your shoulder joint. You should also add some emphasis on the Rhomboids and the Serrates Anterior which are your upper back muscles and they will improve your posture.
- External Rotation Lying: The athlete needs to lie down on their side. The arm which needs to be worked upon should be on top. This upper arm should rest along the body but bent at the elbow so as to be pointing downwards. The exercise involves turning it back up towards the ceiling, a complete 180-degree rotation if possible, before bringing it back down. You can use a light dumbbell of around 2 kgs for this, and repeat the rotational movement about 10 to 20 times.
- Internal Rotation Lying: In this exercise, you need to lie down on your side again, but this time the hand to be worked upon needs to be under you. To begin with, your forearm needs to be parallel to the floor, and the rotational movement involves bending it at the elbow and moving it upwards towards the stomach with the hands upwards. Use a light dumbbell of about 2 kgs, and repeat the movement about 10 to 20 times.
- Retraction: This involves just shoulder movements, steadily moving the shoulders back but keeping arms and head completely still. This needs to be gradually built up over time. You should start with no weights, completely 3 sets of 10 repetitions and then build up to 30 repetitions. Once you are able to complete the 30 repetitions over 3 sets without any pain, you can increase the weight and continue.
The above mentioned are the 7 shoulder impingement exercises. Perform these exercises and enjoy a painless shoulder!