The content of this shoulder health blog is best utilized after you have followed the exercises in our shoulder mobility blog and video below.

The shoulder is one of the most complex joints in the human body. It’s a ball and socket joint and has the ability to go in virtually any direction. Fun fact: There are 17 muscles that attach to the shoulder blade alone! For this reason strengthening your muscles for optimal shoulder health can be a complex process. If these muscles do not fire correctly, there’s a good chance that developing shoulder and neck pain is not far off. Having weakness in the shoulder can even give you headaches. The exercises outlined in this blog will help with both shoulder coordination and strength but they should NOT be painful. If you have pain during these exercises you may need something more specific and we can help, give us a call!

the doctors of physical therapy back pain book cover


How To Stop Shoulder Pain Without Risking Surgery & While Staying Active

Scapular mechanics

The first two exercises will focus on improving the ability of your shoulder blade to rotate upwards, this is essential for you to be able to lift your arm in the first place.

The wall Y

Perform this exercise 2-3x/day until you notice that you’re able to keep your upper traps quiet during most daily activities.

Push up Plus

Perform this exercise 1-2x/day. This exercise should be pain free. If you find it difficult to do this on the floor, try a raised surface like your kitchen counter.

Shoulder Strength


Scaption is named “scaption” because the motion is performed in the scapular plane of motion. This means that you are not raising your arms straight out to the side, but 30 degrees forward of that to make a very wide “V.” This is a great exercise to begin rehabilitating your rotator cuff and should definitely be non-painful when performed.

scaption for shoulder health

Sidelying External Rotation

This is a great exercise to improve your shoulder stability. The rotator cuff muscles targeted in this exercise are essential to performing any other big shoulder movements. Lie on your side with your elbow tucked into your waist, grab a light weight, and proceed to bring your arm up to the side while keeping your elbow stuck to your waist area. It can be helpful to use a towel as illustrated to cue yourself to hold onto with your elbow. Shoot for 6-8 reps of this exercise to improve rotator cuff strength.

External rotation for shoulder health 

There you have it, 4 ways to begin your way to optimal shoulder health and improving your movement patterns. If you have trouble performing these exercises without pain we can help you. For the Best Shoulder Specialist Phoenix has to offer, give us a call and let’s get you back to your life today!