Shoulder Pain Exercises

Today I wanted to talk to you about shoulder pain exercises.

The question came from a client who is having difficulty performing a corner stretch.

She is having pain when performing the exercise and is wondering if there are any alternatives to the exercise that she can do.

I thought the question was a great question and decided to share my answer with you.

Let me take a little time to expand on things in the video.

This is a corner stretch:

Corner Stretch

The corner stretch is a great stretch for the pectoralis major (chest).  I often recommend my clients perform the stretch in a doorway.  They reach up to the corner of the doorway and then move into the stretch.  Hence, I call it a doorway stretch.

In the video, I use a tree.  The big thing is the arm is at 135 degrees or in line with the muscle fibers of the chest (pectoralis major).

I find some clients with shoulder pain are not able to do the exercise because:

  • They are not able to get their arm into the position
  • They lack scapular stability in the shoulder
  • They lack isometric strength in the shoulder
  • It is too much stress on the AC (Acromioclavicular) joint

Many would say “don’t stretch the shoulder if you have pain.”

This is a bad response.  There are numerous ways of modifying the stretch in order to eliminate the shoulder pain and stretch out the chest.

Here is one of those ways, doing a Low Doorway Stretch:

Low Doorway Stretch

If my client is not able to do a doorway stretch, I move them into a low doorway stretch.

This stretch modifies things by moving the arm down to the side.  It is away from the body about 45 degrees.  It is not as effective as the doorway stretch but it puts less stress on the shoulder and most people can do it.

Bonus Tip

Feel The Stretch.  Really, FEEL THE STRETCH – You can see in the above two pictures and the above video, that I am touching where I should feel the stretch.  This is something that I teach my clients.

Put your hand on the muscle where you should be feeling the stretch.  This makes your clients better aware of the stretch and a better understanding of what is being stretched.

Open Up Collar Bones

If you are not able to do the doorway stretch or the low doorway stretch, try the open-up collar bones stretch.

I like this one because it is great for someone who has poor movement in the shoulder.  They can focus on moving the collar bones back by activating the muscles between the shoulder blades (rhomboids and middle fibers of trapezius).  They activate the scapular muscles, work against rounding out the shoulder, and stretch the chest.

I really hope this helps you.

Leave a comment below if you have any other ideas or thoughts on this article.

On another note, I just released my Shoulder Pain Solved Program:

Shoulder Pain Solved

If you or your client have Shoulder Pain, then I know Shoulder Pain Solved will help you.

Rick Kaselj, MS

P.S. – If you have been reading the blog, you know I have a lot of other videos and articles on shoulder pain.  Below are some that may help you out.

Here are a few other articles that will interest you: