Unbreakable Shoulders: 6 Exercises

by morgans | June 30, 2020 |
Unbreakable Shoulders: 6 Exercises

Are you looking to develop unbreakable shoulders?

Shoulder issues are some of the most frequently seen problems in the clinic. Some problems in the gym include pulling, pressing, and handstands. Other normal activities like reaching into cabinets, buckling your seatbelt, or reaching in the backseat can often be problematic as well. Often people don’t even realize how much they are using their shoulders until they have a painful episode to teach them how integral this joint is to everyday function. 

The shoulder complex is a complicated group of 3 joints. Alongside of that, more muscles cross the shoulder joint than any other joint in the body. Due to this, many people struggle to ever get a clear diagnosis for their shoulder problems. Even when given an MRI, often structural changes will be present that aren’t responsible for a person’s symptoms. One study looked at professional baseball pitchers’ shoulders under MRI with no complaints of pain or injury and they found a host of problems, with 79% having labral defects, as well as other “problems.” Due to the fact that these players were pain-free and functioning at such a high level, this begs the question, does the MRI really tell the whole story?

At Onward, we see through experience that in this complicated joint one thing remains fairly constant: people who have STRONG shoulders and mobile mid backs (thoracic spines) have healthier shoulders.

Here are a few exercises that do a really nice job of creating serious strength in your shoulders. Do these and get them one step closer to unbreakable. 

The Standing Kettlebell Strict Press
Unstable Pressing
Prone Swimmers
  • Perform 10-15 reps, ensure you retract your neck fully⁠. Try and rotate your shoulders fully and reach back toward the ceiling.
Doorway Angels
  • This is a favorite while you are the office. Set a timer for 1-2 minutes, and move at a steady and controlled pace.

Here are some great ways to target the thoracic spine. Perform these to add the mobility you need to get full function out of the shoulder joint

Upper Thoracic Mobilization
  • Grab a moderate weight kettlebell and gentle place it at your upper thoracic spine. Sink down to end range and add some extension overpressure to get you into some new ranges of motion!
Prayer Stretch
  • Similar to the upper thoracic mobilization above with the kettlebell, however this one is a more global stretch and requires no equipment! You can use a chair and sink down to get a great stretch across your upper back.

If you are having a shoulder problem whether it be a lack of mobility, lack of strength, or pain don’t wait; schedule an appointment today. Both Dr. Alexis and Dr. Zac have extensive experience treating a host of shoulder problems and would love to help you develop a plan to get back to activity.