Shoulder Instability Exercises

Shoulder instability often comes from a shoulder dislocation. If you dislocate your shoulder once, you have a very high probability of dislocating it again. These exercises should help keep it in place, by strengthening all the muscles around the shoulder joint.

Using a resistive band is a great way to keep the muscles strong. For a Theraband, the yellow is the lightest and the one you should start with if you haven’t used them before. For the first exercise, you will do a shoulder external rotation. Try to keep your elbows by your side through out the exercise. If you want to roll up a small towel and place it between your side and your elbow for each side, this will keep your arms close to your side through out the exercise. Keep your elbows at about a 90 degree angle and your thumbs up towards the ceiling. Also try to keep your wrists in a neutral position. You don’t want to over stress your wrists, and then have a wrist injury. Slowly pull both arms out away from each other keeping your elbows at your side, and then slowly come back in. Start off with 10 of these, and then work your way up to 20-25. If that becomes easy, then move up with resistive bands.

The next exercise will be for internal rotation. Anchor it to a table leg, in a door, or have someone hold it for you. If you want to roll up a small towel and place it between your side and your elbow, this will keep your arm close to your side through out the exercise. Keep your elbow at about a 90 degree angle and your thumb up towards the ceiling. Slowly pull your arm and the band in towards your stomach, and then slowly come back out. You don’t need to come back out far, just to where your forearm is straight out in front of you. Start off with 10 of these, and then work your way up to 20-25. If that becomes easy, then move up with resistive bands.

Now you will take the band and place it on the ground. Make sure to step on it firmly so it doesn’t pop back up and hit you. This time you will do shoulder flexion. Still keep your thumb up towards the ceiling, but this time you want your arm to stay straight with the elbow locked out. Bring it straight out to about a 90 degree angle and slowly come back down. You don’t have to take it all the way up. Next you will do shoulder extension. Still keeping the band anchored with your foot, now bring the band back with your arm straight, and slowly come back down. Start off with 10 of these, and then work your way up to 20-25. If that becomes easy, then move up with resistive bands.

The last exercise will be on the ground. It is a modified push up, or some people call them girl push ups. Start off on your knees, and bring your arms out in front of you on the ground, and straighten out your body. Go down, and push back up. It doesn’t have to be a full push up, this is just to get pressure through your arm into your shoulder joint to help with the stability and strengthen the muscles. Start off with 10 and work your way up from there.

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