Exercises to strengthen the shoulder muscles

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 19.10.2021

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Use these exercises to get rid of shoulder pain and strengthen the upper body.

Stretching and pains force men to avoid exercises such as bench press, which leads to a reduction in muscle mass and constant complaints that you do not have strong shoulders.

The secret is not to avoid pain. Instead, add to your program a movement to strengthen the ligaments.

Follow this exercise program and you will see that your pain disappears and you can pump up strong muscles of the arms, chest, shoulders and back.

Do these exercises as part of your overall program on the entire body or on the upper body. Do all the approaches in each sequence (for example, 1A and 1B) before moving on to the next number. To add variety, you can use the various options listed below to improve the condition of the shoulders and the entire upper body.

A. Press on the floor

3 or 4 sets of 6-8 reps (can also be performed with a bar)

Take dumbbells and lay your back on the floor, legs bent at the knees, feet on the floor. Keep dumbbells above your shoulders, arms straight. Lower the dumbbells until your elbows touch the floor, then squeeze the dumbbells up into their original position. This is one repetition.

Benefit: This movement limits the stretching of the shoulder muscles - that is, the stretching of the muscles that are in front of the shoulders when you lower the dumbbell to the chest. Too much stress on the front of the shoulders leads to instability of the shoulder muscles and causes trauma. This is a good substitute for bench press lying on the bench, if your shoulders are in bad shape. Also you use it simply to periodically reduce the load.

Other options: Press the dumbbell on the bench and press the dumbbells in the slope.

B. Thrust rod with medium grip

3-4 sets of 6-8 repetitions

Take the barbell grasp from above, the hands are about the width of the shoulders, and hold it in front of the hips, the legs are slightly bent at the knees. Bend in the hips and lower the torso by 45 degrees, allowing the bar to hang. Pull the bar up to your torso, stop and then slowly lower it.

Benefits: Many men give excessive attention to the muscles of the chest and hands. Exercises on the back muscles balance your exercise program and help maintain the natural movement of the shoulders, as well as avoid weakness and pain in the muscles.

Other options: Traction rope medium grip, pull dumbbells

A. Traction of the upper block with a slope backwards

2 or 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions

Sit in front of the vertical block and take the handle of the cable with a grip from below, the width of the grip is 1.5 times the width of the shoulders. Lean back about 30 degrees. Lead the cable to the bottom of the chest, make sure that you lower your shoulders down and pull them back, following the movement of your hands. Return to the starting position by a soft, controlled movement.

Benefit: The angle of your body reduces the load on the rotator cuff of the shoulder, increasing the stability of the shoulder joint. Also, a 30-degree tilt can increase the activity of your widest muscles.

Other options: Traction of the upper block with a grip from below

B. "Scapteon" (an exercise for the shoulder blades)

2-3 sets of 10-12 repetitions

Standing position, feet shoulder width apart, dumbbells on the sides of the body, palms facing each other, arms slightly bent at the elbows. Without bending arms, lift the dumbbells until your hands are parallel to the floor, while taking them to the sides at 30 degrees. Stop, then lower your hands to the starting position.

Benefit: Exercise activates the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint and shoulder blade. You swing your muscles and at the same time strengthen your shoulders.

A. Traction of the cable to the face

2-3 sets of 12-15 reps

Attach the rope to the rope on the top block and pick up the ends of the rope, palms facing each other. Take a step back until your arms are straightened out in front of you, and you will feel the tension in the cable. Now pull the middle of the rope to your eyes, bending your arms in the elbows, bring the shoulder blades together and spread your elbows to the sides. In order to return to the starting position, slowly straighten your hands in front of you.

Benefits: You develop small muscles in the upper back, maintain strength and rotation of the shoulder and improve the strength of the trapezius muscle. All this will increase the stability of your shoulder blades and shoulder joints.

Other options: push-ups, reverse thrust

B. Rotation of the arm outwards lying on its side

2-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions on each side

Take the dumbbell in your right hand, lie on your left side, place the rolled towel under the right elbow. Bend your left hand and lean your head against it. Bend your right arm at an angle of 90 degrees and hold the dumbbell in front of your stomach. Do not bend your wrists. Raise the dumbbell above the body level, with the shoulder part of the arm aligned with the body. Slowly return to the starting position.

Benefit: Since you lie on your side, you activate the muscles of the rotator cuff of the shoulder in the back of the shoulders, this improves the stability of the shoulder joint. Exercise also reduces the risk of tendinitis of the rotator cuff of the shoulder, as well as the risk of a shoulder rotator squeezing syndrome, a painful condition in which the anterior part of the scapula, when the arm is raised, presses the muscles or tendons of the rotator cuff of the shoulder.

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