INJURY MANAGEMENT
The Top 5      Shoulder Strengthening Exercises You Can Do At Home
Mitchell Starkman, Physiotherapist, The Movement Centre
5 March 2018

We could all use a little more strength and stability around our shoulders. The trouble is that we all can’t get to the gym every day, so how do we go about strengthening our shoulders were not in the weight room or fitness studio? Well to answer that question, we’ve created this post on the 5 best shoulder strengthening exercises you can do at home. This means you can get stronger, even if you’re on your couch, in your PJs, watching your favorite episode of Brooklyn 99 on Netflix (great show by the way!).

So let’s jump right into things. The biggest concern we often get from movers is that they don’t have the right equipment at home – well worry no more my friends! We’ve created a resource on the 3 pieces of exercise equipment you didn’t know you had in your home so you can get started right away.

# 1 – The Rule of 5

Our first exercise on the docket is all about getting your shoulders back into the right position. That’s right folks, trying to correct that posture your mother has been telling you about for years. A rounded shoulder blade position places the shoulder joint in a vulnerable position and can set things up for disaster. This is why it’s so important that before we aim to strengthen our shoulders, we ensure we are able to maintain an optimal resting position first.

We’ve created a full write up post on The Rule of 5 Shoulder Strengthening Exercises if you need a full review.

Now if you’re having shoulder pain, make sure you check out our Ultimate Guide to Shoulder Impingement where we teach all you need to know about what the heck is going on with your shoulder and how to fix it! 

# 2 Side Lying Shoulder External Rotation 

This has to be one of the best and most often overlooked exercises. In fact, this shoulder strengthening exercise has been found in the research over and over again to be one of the most effective exercises to strengthen and retrain the rotator cuff. The great thing about this exercise is that most of us (okay, maybe not you), have weak rotator cuff muscles. At home, using something as simple as a soup can, or even half-filled water bottle will do the trick as a resistance. This can also be a super helpful exercise for correcting and improving your shoulder posture.

We’ve created a full write up post on this shoulder strengthening exercise if you need a full review. If you don’t have any weights at home, you can also do this with a resistance band! We recommend this set of restance bands from amazon

#3 The Serratus Push-Up- Plus

Now many of you have likely thought, “shoulder strength, great it’s time to work on my bench press!”. Well, I am here to tell you that the Serratus push-up exercise is an amazing and crucial exercise for training the control and strength of our shoulder blades. Without it, all of your hard work on the bench will be a wast. You can even improve the amount of weight you can lift (or should I say “push”) with the bench press by training your shoulder blade strength.

Proper functioning shoulder blades make for happy shoulders! That means that we have to make sure these muscles are firing optimally before we can go and bench 400lbs or pick up our children overhead.

We’ve created a full write up post on this shoulder strengthening exercise if you need a full review.

#4 Slide Roll Lift (SLR)

Now we are getting into some more challenging exercises for strengthening shoulders. This is one of the better exercises to strengthen the lower fibre traps that stabilize and control the shoulder blade overhead. This means when you are going to do things like wash your hair, raise your hands in class, or “wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care” – you’ll have the strength and control to do so!

 

We’ve created a full write up post on this shoulder strengthening exercise if you need a full review.

#5 The Wall Slide

The shoulders are amazing because they have such a wide range of motion. They move up, down and all around. It’s amazing how complex the muscles in the shoulder actually are as they control the arm into overhead range. This exercise does an amazing job of retraining that up and down movement as we work protect our shoulders against injury. This one can be done with no equipment at all, and the wall itself isn’t even truly necessary (although helpful). We can also increase the challenge by simply adding a resistance band around our wrists throughout this exercise to really get the rotator cuff going.  

We’ve created a full write up post on this shoulder strengthening exercise if you need a full review.

Now what if you are struggling with pain?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! If you are having issues or trouble with your shoulder, we recommend you check out the PhysioReady Shoulder Impingement Program. It’s an entirety online program dedicated to getting your shoulders pain free and feeling awesome.

You can also check out our Ultimate Guide to Shoulder Impingement where we teach all you need to know about what the heck is going on with your shoulder and how to fix it!  Or if you’re looking to stretch those shoulders of yours, check out our Top 5 Shoulder Stretches Exercises To Do At Home.

We’ve created a full write up post on this shoulder strengthening exercise if you need a full review.

What Else?

If you’re looking for another great read you can check out The Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Workouts: Top Exercises To Gain Muscles And Build Strength from our friends over at Mass Gain Source. 

Authored by:

Mitch Starkman

Mitch Starkman

Physiotherapist and Founder

A Toronto-based Physiotherapist with a passion for sports, orthopedics, and human movement. Mitchell’s goal is to understand how the site of pain is impacted by the entire body – rather than pinpointing a specific disturbance. He is also the founder of www.TheMovementCentre.ca - a website geared toward giving people the tools they need to self-manage, treat and prevent their injuries.

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