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5 Stretches and Exercises for Shoulder Pain

resistance band external rotation

Resistance band external rotation

Modern life often leads to the development of bad posture. Maybe you slouch at your desk all day and you slouch while looking at your cell phone. Or, daily movements, like picking up your kids, or cleaning the kitchen counters, lend themselves to leaning down and rolling your shoulders forward.

According to Lara Heimann, a licensed physical therapist and the founder of LYT Yoga, bad posture may cause the ball of the humerus (the large bone of your upper arm) to sit inappropriately within the shoulder socket (the glenohumeral joint).

To have pain-free optimal movement, the ball should be centered in this joint.

“To maintain that position, adequate scapular stability is necessary, and is an often-overlooked biomechanical need that will prevent and improve existing shoulder pain,” Heimann says.

To strengthen the rotator cuff and work on scapular stability, the resistance band external rotation is an ideal exercise.

How to do it

Tie a resistance band around a doorknob. Stand far enough away from the door for the band to be taut (not tight) when your right side is “pointing at” the door and you’re holding the opposite end of the band in your left hand. Bend your left elbow to 90-degrees and “fix” your left upper arm to your left side.

Rotate your left shoulder inward, bringing your left hand toward your right hip. From this position, bend your knees slightly and engage your core to keep your torso steady, “tucking” your scapula onto your back to prevent it from “winging” out or otherwise moving around.

Rotate your left shoulder outward, pulling the band tight as you move your left hand away from your body.

Focus on keeping your upper arm centered in the shoulder joint. When you reach your “sticking point,” hold for a breath, then return to the starting position. Perform three sets of 10 reps before switching sides.

(Related: 10 Stretches That Can Help Strengthen Your Back)

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