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Shoulder Therapy | Exercises For A Shoulder Injury

Shoulder Therapy | Exercises For A Shoulder Injury

Lets face it, injuries suck. One of the most common injuries among weightlifters is the shoulder injury, due to poor programming, ego lifting, or just plain overuse (among a variety of other reasons). Even as I’m typing this, I suffer from a shoulder injury from overuse, but with these tips I’ve alleviated quite a lot of my pain, and am looking to get better soon. Here are the top exercises to recover from a shoulder injury.

Note: It’s best to see a doctor (or physio), not just look up some articles online in the hope this will fix your problem.

Recovering From a Shoulder Injury

My Absolute #1 Tip

This is going to sound extremely contradictory, but I want you to overhead press, and I mean a PROPER overhead press, with a barbell. No added weight, a plain barbell with no weight on it will do just fine.

Overhead press as shown in “starting strength,” with a shoulder width grip, straight bar path, and when you reach the top, a shrug. This shrug is extremely important! What it’s going to do is alleviate tension and release all of your shoulder muscles to loosen everything up.

I know this may sound contradictory. With a shoulder injury shoulder pressing is bad, right? Not exactly. You’ll be strengthening and building back up what the main cause of your problem is: and that is the shoulder. I can’t guarantee this will fix your shoulder issues, but I’m almost certain.

Other Exercises To Do

 1. Internal/External rotations with a band or dumbbell

 2. Scaptions

 3. Face Pulls

 4. Internal/External rotations lying on a bench, dumbbell in hand

 5. “Empty Can Exercises”

Sergi Constance shoulder exercises


Obviously you want to improve on these exercises, and get stronger, but DO NOT GO HEAVY with them. If you thought you had shoulder problems before, try using a 30 pound dumbbell doing an empty can exercise, you’ll be hurting, trust me.

Face pulls you can go heavier, because they are also fantastic at building the rear delts. Do roughly 10 to 15 reps on each exercise, at least once a week, and once you reach the top of the rep range, you can move up in weight. I hope this helped any of you who are struggling with shoulder problems. I would highly recommend getting an MRI or seeing a doctor if the pain does not subside after attempting exercises to alleviate the issue.

Patience is Key

The most important thing to take into consideration when recovering from an injury is patience. With a shoulder injury there is no quick fix. You can’t simply do one exercise and expect everything to be back to normal.

The most important thing alongside these exercise is rest. Just because you have a shoulder injury does not mean that you can’t train and focus on other muscle groups such as legs, back and arms. It is true that a shoulder injury can affect your ability to train other muscle groups, such as chest, but you need to just be aware of this and see what exercises you can perform without causing yourself pain.

Be sensible. Do not let your ego control you when it comes to recovering.

shoulder workout motivation

Take Home Message

Try some of these out, especially what I recommended with the overhead press: It simply works. Injuries suck, but won’t last forever if you recover and heal properly. All in all, I hope this helps your recovery and prevention of further shoulder related injuries. 

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Kevin Dickson

Kevin Dickson

Writer and expert

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