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  • Dr. Chris Beavers PT, DPT

The Most Critical Exercises to Keep Your Shoulder Healthy

The Shoulder is easily one of the most injured joints I see in the clinic. This is because the shoulder has an incredible ability to move through a large range of motion. We can reach behind our back, reach and control weights overhead, reach and control things out to the side, and so much more. It’s a unique joint in that it allows so much freedom in degrees of movement, but with that degree of movement its critical we learn to control that motion. More often than not, athletes have considerable difficulty controlling their shoulder throughout its entire range of motion which can lead to shoulder pain. This is the primary job of the rotator cuff.


The rotator cuff has the unique responsibility of maintaining control of the shoulder joint. It is comprised of four different muscles that help to stabilize the shoulder. This is critical in Crossfit athletes and other overhead athletes because athletes have to create large velocities of movements with barbells and stabilize them overhead. Additionally, with gymnastics movements liking kipping movements and muscle ups, it is even more necessary that we generate power and stabilize ourselves on the rig. The problem arises when atheltes don’t have this control.


Many athletes never incorporate rotator cuff strengthening exercises into their usual workout routine. If you are experiencing shoulder pain id encourage you to give these a try.


Snow Angels




Complete 2 sets of 6


This is a great exercise because it allows for time under tension. The Rotator cuff is required to stabilize weight for a long duration and into overhead positions. This is critical in the sport of CrossFit because it builds functional endurance and helps teach the athlete to create a stable foundation at the should for when they press overhead.


Standing External Rotation Complex




Perform 3 sets total here


Similar to the snow angles this is a prolonged time under tension strengthening exercise. SO often I see athletes performing standing external rotation which is the first position you see in this video. However athletes will only perform a couple sets of 10 and this is not nearly enough to challenge the cuff and does not mimic the requirements of the sports which is to stabilize weight overhead.


Sidelying Flexion, Abduction, External Rotation



Perform 2 sets of 15 of each position


After performing the other two exercise the shoulder are going to be pretty tired. You are only going to need 5 lbs or so here. This should not be a very heavy weight.


Give each of these drills a try to help create strength and stability of your shoulders. This will help teach you to better control weight overhead and help protect your shoulders long term.


If you are having shoulder pain and you’re tired of missing workout and tired of being stuck in the cycle or resting ,reinjuring, resting, and reinjuring your shoulders then its time to give us a call. Get the answers you are looking for so that we can quickly knock out your pain and get you back to doing all the things you love.


Click the link below to schedule a free total body diagnostic.


https://pteverywhere.com/PtE/s/momentum/register

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