If you recently had a shoulder injury or shoulder surgery, it is very important to begin exercising and stretching your shoulders to regain muscle strength and prevent future injury. Below are a few exercises to help you strengthen your shoulders. Remember that you should always consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise program, and to never push yourself beyond what you are capable.
Before you begin any exercise, make sure that you properly warm up your muscles. The point of a warm up is to increase your blood circulation. Your warm up should be a low impact exercise, such as walking or cycling. After about ten minutes, you are ready to begin.
The pendulum is a great exercise for those just beginning their conditioning. Stand next to a table, put one hand flat on the table and gently swing the other arm. Swing your arm up and down as well as side to side. Keep the shoulder relaxed, and if necessary, assist the swing by shifting your weight from side to side. Switch arms to exercise both shoulders. Once you are able, put a weight in your hand to add resistance.
Stand or sit in a comfortable position. Take one arm, cross it over your body, and pull it gently towards the body with the other arm. Hold this stretch for at least 20 seconds. Release, and repeat with the other side. Do this three times for each side.
Hold a stick behind your back. Pull horizontally, away from the shoulder that you are trying to exercise, passively stretching your shoulder. Once you feel a pull (but not pain), hold it in place for thirty seconds. Release for 30 seconds. Pull horizontally the other direction and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat four times. You can also do passive rotations in the front, as well. Hold the stick in front of your body. Keep the elbow of the shoulder that you want to stretch tight against your body, and gently push the stick towards the side of your body that you are trying to stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, then release. Repeat four times.
This exercise is easy and very effective. Stand next to a convex corner, and put your arm against the wall at a 90 degree angle (like you are swearing an oath). Slowly twist your body away from the wall until you feel a gentle stretch. Hold for about 30 seconds, then release. Repeat with the other shoulder.