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Shoulder exercises for shoulder injuries


You have started treatment to restore normal joint mechanics of the shoulder. You may have had a shoulder diagnostic ultrasound to check your rotator cuff. This progression of a home program is to enhance your current treatment. We recommend spending a few minutes with each exercise, 12 to 15 repetitions each. Let pain be your guide. Too much? Then back off to 5 or 6 repetitions to start.




These are the exercises we recommend to accompany your treatment program. Our goal of any treatment or program is to restore normal function that is pain free.





You can use any stick. A broom handle or a cane will do. We recommend a PVC pipe that is 1 1/4 inch thick from Home Depot or Lowes as shown here with end caps and hockey tape.

You can also purchase different sticks through Stick Mobility.


Explore the pain free range of your shoulder and make sure to try this movement with each knee down. It is a different motion and range for your shoulder. Change the angle of the stick or reach up higher to change the exercise and area of stretch.





Start with the easier exercises from this video and then progress to lifting your knees up or extending your leg.


Posture and position are important as well as stabilizing the trunk. Make sure your hips and sides are not swaying with arm or leg reaching.



(Progression of exercises)


  • Shifting your weight is a great place to start to get some rotator cuff stability.


  • Arm reaching with one hand straight, thumb up.


  • Lifting a knee while stabilizing at the shoulders.


  • Weight bearing with reaching to the ceiling is called the 'John Travolta' and is a great stabilizing exercise.


  • Single leg extensions.


  • Both knees off the ground. This will make you work.








Prone Cobra is tough. This one is easy to hold your breath on so remember to BREATHE.



Here is an added stretch that has some research behind it. It is a posterior shoulder stretch.  


The big take home is to work on shoulder adduction or reaching across your chest for the stretch position. There should be no pain as this is also a provocation stress test for shoulder impingement.





Work on these exercises for the next 2 to 4 weeks. We will look at progressing your shoulder exercises based on your follow up with your physical therapist.


For any questions you can email us at


You can also all us at 719-596-5000 or text us at 719-249-5850.


Shoulder exercises for shoulder injuries