This shoulder pain miracle-cure circuit is a series of activation exercises that imitate the letters Y, T, W, L and I, which you can do as a warm-up at the start of any upper-body workout or as blocking moves against injuries.
Whether it’s blisters from wearing in that new pair of pumps or the aches from carving immaculate cuticles, gritting your teeth through everyday pains is easy. However, shoulder discomfort isn’t something you can easily brush off. It’s a unique pain that’s surprisingly easy to come by.
It could be caused by poor posture, injury, working on a computer all day or poor exercise program design. Activities that involve excessive, repetitive, overhead motion like swimming and weightlifting can also be big players. Strengthening the muscles that support your shoulders will help you keep your joints stable and strong while relieving pain and preventing further injury. This circuit is your one-stop shop for fixing shoulder pain and it can be done anywhere.
Do this routine twice a week – ideally before shoulder and back workouts. Do two or three sets of 8-12 reps of each position with no rest between each one. If you get serious shoulder pain you can do this every day as a preventative measure. You can use weights, but start light with 2.5-5lb per side. Once you feel you’ve mastered the movements, you can add weight if you feel comfortable. Use a ball, bench or even your bed as your chest support.
1. Y – hands at 10 and 2 o’clock
Let your arms hang straight down from your shoulders; palms facing each other, thumbs pointing up. Raise your arms until they’re in line with your torso, forming a “Y” shape over your head. Pause, then lower your arms and repeat.
2. T – hands at 9 and 3 o’clock
Let your arms hang straight down from your shoulders; palms facing each other, thumbs pointing up. Raise your arms straight out to the sides until they’re in line with your torso, forming a “T” shape over your head. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Pause, then lower your arms and repeat.
3. W – arms bent at 90 degrees
Bend your elbows to form 90-degree angles and hold them close together in front of your chest. Without changing the bend in your elbows, squeeze your shoulder blades together as you raise your upper arms and rotate your forearms. At the top of the movement, your arms will form a “W” shape. Pause, then repeat.
4. L – arms bent and rotating at the shoulder
Squeeze your shoulder blades together, raise your arms until they’re perpendicular to your torso and bend your elbows until they’re at 90 degrees and forming an “L” shape. Without changing your elbow position, rotate your forearms up and down as far as you can.
5. I – arms pressing overhead
Lift your hands to the sides of your ears and tuck your elbows in close to your ribs. Raise your arms by pressing straight up over your head, forming an “I” shape with your body. Pause, then lower your arms, pulling your shoulder blades down towards your hips and repeat.
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