Home Exercise Program for Shoulder Conditioning

  • When performing the stretching exercises, you should stretch slowly to the limit of motion, taking care to avoid pain. If you experience pain with the exercises, call your doctor.
  • For the exercises that use a stick, you may use a yardstick or stick of similar size.

Strengthening and Stretching Exercises for the Shoulder

STRENGTHENING EXERCISES

External Rotation

  • Make a 3-foot-long loop with the elastic band and tie the ends together. Attach the loop to a doorknob or other stable object.
  • Standing with your side to the wall, hold the loop, as shown in the start position.
  • Keeping your elbow close to your side, rotate the arm outward slowly and then slowly return to the start position.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Perform 3 sets of 8 repetitions, progressing to 3 sets of 12 repetitions, 3 days per week.

Standing Row

  • Make a 3-foot-long loop with the elastic band and tie the ends together. Attach the loop to a doorknob or other stable object.
  • Standing facing the wall, hold the loop as shown in the start position.
  • Keeping your arm close to your side, slowly pull the arm straight back and then slowly return to the start position.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Perform 3 sets of 8 repetitions, progressing to 3 sets of 12 repetitions, 3 days per week.

Internal Rotation

  • Make a 3-foot-long loop with the elastic band and tie the ends together. Attach the loop to a doorknob or other stable object.
  • Standing with your side to the wall, hold the loop as shown in the start position.
  • Keeping your elbow close to your side, rotate the arm across your body slowly and then slowly return to the start position.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Perform 3 sets of 8 repetitions, progressing to 3 sets of 12 repetitions, 3 days per week.

Bent-Over Horizontal Abduction

  • Stand next to a table.
  • Bend at the waist with your side supported on the table and the other arm hanging straight down and holding a light weight (up to 5 lb)
  • Keeping the arm straight, slowly raise the hand up to eye level and then slowly lower it back to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Perform 3 sets of 8 repetitions, progressing to 3 sets of 12 repetitions, 3 days per week.

Elbow Flexion

  • Stand with your weight evenly distributed over both feet.
  • Holding a light weight (up to 5 lb) and keeping the arm close to the side, slowly bend the elbow up toward the shoulder as shown; hold for 2 seconds, slowly return to the starting position, and then relax.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Perform 3 sets of 8 repetitions, progressing to 3 sets of 12 repetitions, 3 days per week.

Elbow Extension

  • Stand with your weight evenly distributed over both feet.
  • Holding a light weight (up to 5 lb), raise arm with the elbow bent and with your opposite hand supporting your elbow. Slowly straighten the elbow overhead, hold for 2 seconds, and then slowly lower the arm to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Perform 3 sets of 8 repetitions, progressing to 3 sets of 12 repetitions, 3 days per week.

External Rotation with Arm Abducted 90°

  • Make a 3-foot-long loop with the elastic band and tie the ends together. Attach the loop to a doorknob or other stable object.
  • Standing facing the wall, hold the loop as shown in the start position, with the arm held straight out from the shoulder and the elbow bent 90°.
  • Keeping the shoulder and elbow level, slowly rotate the hand up from the elbow, and then slowly return to the start position.
  • Perform 3 sets of 8 repetitions, progressing to 3 sets of 12 repetitions, 3 days per week.

STRETCHING EXERCISES

Pendulum

  • Lean forward, supporting the boy with one arm and relaxing the muscles of the other arm so that it hangs freely.
  • Gently move the arm in forward-and-back, side-to-side and circular motions.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions, progressing to 3 sets of 15 repetitions, 5 to 6 days per week.

Passive External Rotation

  • Grasp the stick with one hand and cup the other end of the stick with the other hand.
  • Push the stick horizontally as shown, keeping the elbow against the side of the body so that the arm is passively stretched to the point of feeling a pull without pain.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and then relax for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Perform 4 sets, 5 to 6 days per week.

Passive Internal Rotation

  • Behind your back, grasp the stick with one hand and lightly grasp the other end of the stick with the other hand.
  • Pull the stick horizontally as shown so that the arm is passively stretched to the point of feeling a pull without pain.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and then relax for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Perform 4 sets, 5 to 6 days per week.

Crossover Arm Stretch

  • Gently pull the elbow of one arm across the chest as far as possible without feeling pain.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then relax for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Perform 4 sets, 5 to 6 days per week.