3 shoulder exercises for physical therapy

Wondering what types of shoulder exercises you might perform during a physical therapy session? The answer to this depends on what you’re hoping to achieve or treat, but if you’re looking for a general idea, you can take a look below. We’ll go over what PT exercises can do for someone who wants to address the health of their shoulders and some exercise examples.

What can physical therapy exercises do for someone who wants to address their shoulders?

Physical therapy can do many things to improve shoulder health. It can be helpful for someone who has a shoulder injury and would like to recover to the best of their ability. Do you have a chronic shoulder condition like frozen shoulder? PT can help release some of that pain and stiffness. It can also be effective for someone, like an athlete, who wants to build strength and condition their muscles for optimal sports performance. PT can improve the range of motion in the shoulder, reduce any pain that exists and build shoulder strength.

What are some shoulder exercises that you might be asked to perform during physical therapy?

PT exercises can be used to improve the condition of your shoulder in a number of ways. To do this, your physical therapist will first need to determine what your physical therapy goals are. Are you hoping to recover from an injury? Build strength and condition for a sport? Your unique PT goals can affect the types of exercises you may perform. However, physical therapy almost always involves performing a diverse range of exercises and guided movements for a range of benefits. Here are some examples of exercises that your physical therapist might ask you to do during a session to improve your shoulder health:

  • Seated shoulder rotation — This exercise is designed to improve your shoulder flexibility and range of motion. To complete it, you’ll first need to sit in a chair with a table that you can comfortably rest your elbow on. From there, you’ll place your elbow and forearm flat on the table at a 90-degree angle. Then you will pivot your forearm backward toward the side of your body. Repeat this exercise multiple times.
  • Finger crawl — The finger crawl is designed to improve your shoulder range of motion. First, you’ll need a door frame that you can stand next to with your arm fully extended. Use your fingers to start “crawling” up the frame slowly so that your shoulder is stretched to its capacity. Repeat several times, holding for up to 20 seconds at a time.
  • Strengthening shoulder rotation — This exercise can help strengthen the muscles around your shoulder. To complete it, you’ll need to lie on your side. You’ll also need a small weight in the hand that you’re not lying on. Keep your free arm bent at a 90-degree angle with your elbow touching the side of your body and your hand holding the weight on the floor (or a mat). Slowly lift your hand while maintaining that 90-degree angle and keeping your elbow at your side. Repeat several times.

Let Lattimore PT help you get the right physical therapy care for your shoulder

Lattimore Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation Network first got its start in 1992. John and Cindy Shuman, husband and wife, first launched their own physical therapy practice with the aim to improve the quality of life of each member of their community. Since 1992, Lattimore PT has opened nearly 30 locations across New York.

Our team of talented physical therapists across the state is dedicated to understanding the best treatment for you. We specialize in taking a “hands-on,” interactive approach with each of our patients to provide them with the best care possible. We love to see our patients thrive, which is why we’ll do as much as we can to help get them to that point. The physical therapists at each of our Lattimore locations take pride in their work and do their best to come to the clinic each day with a smiling face. We aim to make each physical therapy session enjoyable yet productive. The ultimate mark of success, to us, is a patient who feels positively impacted by our work. Are you ready to experience “the Lattimore way”?

We firmly believe that we are the right team to guide you through improving the condition of your shoulders. Do you have shoulder weakness? A lingering injury? Stiffness and pain? If you’re concerned about the state of your shoulders, it’s a good idea to start visiting our clinic. We can help you build strength, improve your range of motion, decrease pain and improve long-term function. You shouldn’t hesitate to seek the care you need to improve your physical health. Schedule a session with us today to get started on the path toward a better future. 

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