Stiff Shoulder Exercises

Stiff Shoulder Exercises
Many outdoor sports are hard on the shoulders, from the pulling and hanging of tree and rock climbing to bearing the heavy loads of a backpack. Stiffness is a common result of a sore or injured shoulder, and the best way to speed your recovery is to work that stiffness out and restore your shoulder's flexibility. A number of simple exercises that can be performed anywhere will help the process.

Wall Exercise

Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, with one foot under your shoulder and one in a leading position. This stance is for balance and is common in martial sports, but which foot you lead with does not matter for this exercise. Extend the arm with the stiff shoulder and place your palm on the wall. Lean forward and down, keeping the stiff arm straight until you have lowered your head under the arm. Hold that position for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat the maneuver three to five times.

Cross-Body Adduction

Stand up straight and fold your stiff-shouldered arm across your chest, keeping the arm straight. Raise your other arm, so you lock the stiff-shouldered arm in the crook of your elbow. Pull the stiff-shouldered arm back with your other arm without twisting your trunk. Hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat three to five times.

The Pendulumn

This exercise is good not just for improving shoulder stiffness, but also gauging range of motion. Lie on flat on your stomach on a table, bench or your bed with your stiff-shouldered arm hanging limp over the side. Have a helper pull the arm back and then release it, so it swings like a pendulum. If you do not have a helper, put the arm in motion, but without the use of your neck muscles. A truly stiff and painful shoulder may need to start with as little as 15 degrees of motion and an exercise time of 30 seconds, but you should work up to 45 degrees of motion and three to five minutes of exercise. If you do not have a bench or bed, you can do this exercise seated in a chair and leaning over a table or desk with your good arm.

The Hang

To do the hang, grip a pull-up bar and let your body hang from the bar, stretching your shoulders. This body-weight exercise must be approached carefully, however, to avoid putting too much weight on your injured joint(s). Use your legs to carefully control how much body weight your shoulders are carrying.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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