4 Simple Exercises to Shrug Off Shoulder Pain

Hello from San Diego.

I was in San Diego just a week ago, and it is good to be back again, especially being in a room with a view of the baseball stadium on game day.


I’m all settled in my room, and I’ll be heading out for a workout.

Today, I will be sharing a couple of simple exercises that will help you shrug off shoulder pain. These are also exercises that women can do at home anytime.

Enjoy the exercises.

CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.

I got Jenna to demonstrate the exercises.

#1 – Full Nelson Elbows Back

Bring your hands toward your head while your arms are rotated externally. Use the muscles in your midback to bring your elbows back. Stay relaxed.

The full Nelson elbows back exercise targets the midback shoulder blade muscles. You may feel some activity or small movement in the upper traps. Women often have good flexibility in the shoulders but lack activation, endurance and strength in their midback shoulder areas.

Full Nelson Elbows Back
Full Nelson Elbows Back

Perform one set of 5 reps in a smooth, controlled movement, with a good stop at the end for 1 to 2 seconds. You should feel the muscles in your midback and shoulder blades area working. There could be some sense of fatigue as opposed to a burning or a muscle-building feeling through this exercise.

#2 – Wall Push-up Plus

Form a good straight-line ― ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and head ― with your hands flat up against the wall, just below shoulder height. Push up against the wall, then the “plus” is performed by protracting the shoulder blades and rounding the back. 

This targets the serratus anterior, a deep muscle in the armpit that tends to have poor activation, strength and endurance with women.

Wall Push Up Plus

Wall Push-up Plus

Perform one set of 5 reps in a smooth, controlled movement, with a good stop at the start and end for 1 second each. You should feel the muscles in your shoulders and muscles deep down through your armpits working.

#3 – Three-way Tubing Exercise

Use resistance tubing, which is available at any health and fitness or sporting goods store or big-box stores. Hold the tubing shoulder-width apart with a close grip and then separate your fists. Make a 45-degree angle with your body while keeping the tubing straight. Move and repeat this on the other side.

With arms straight through this exercise, we’re working on the midback area again. Now at an angle with the high arm, you are working on the lower part of the shoulder blade. With the lowered arm, you are targeting the mid and lower parts of that lower shoulder blade.

Three-Way Tubing Exercise

Three-way Tubing Exercise

Perform one set of 5 reps for each of the positions in a smooth, controlled movement with a good stop at the end. You should feel the muscles in your shoulder blades working as you move your arms from a straight line to an angled position.  This may be a little challenging as we target specific muscles that lack activation, endurance and strength.

#4 – Chair Push-ups

Sit on a chair. Straighten your arms, bring your shoulder blades down, and then bring your seat up off of the chair slowly.

This simple exercise targets the lower shoulder blades while relaxing the upper traps muscles, which are usually tight or stiff in most women.

Chair Push Ups

Chair Push-ups

Perform one set of 5 reps in a smooth, controlled movement, with a good stop at the end for 1 to 2 seconds. You should feel the muscles in your shoulder blade, specifically working the lower part.

Give these four shoulder pain relief exercises a go.

If you want to learn how to end your shoulder discomfort permanently, then check out the Fix My Shoulder Pain program here.

Take care!

Rick Kaselj, MS