As most of you know, I have played baseball all throughout my life, and have had my fair share of injuries, but the injuries that had the longest recovery time had to do with my throwing shoulder. I was a pitcher back in high school, and my coach decided that he was going to allow me to throw well above 150 pitches in one game. If you know baseball, then you understand that that is extremely too many pitches, especially for a 14 year old. When the game was finished, my shoulder was shot. I literally could not lift my arm more than 90 degrees for about a month. After some rehabilitation, I decided to quit pitching because my arm strength would never again get to where it could have been. A few years later, as a Freshman in college, I was starting center field in our first game down in Kentucky. It was February, and the weather was terribly cold, somewhere around 22 degrees. There was a play at the plate and I threw home and blew out my shoulder. That was it. I was done for the entire year. Why am I telling you all this? Because I know just about every shoulder rehabilitation exercise out there from personal experience. If you are battling a shoulder injury and need some great exercises to rehabilitate the shoulder, here are some below..
(1) You will need a resistance band for this exercise. Tie the band to a pole and stand right beside it, with the injured shoulder being the farthest away from the pole. Pinch the injured arms’ elbow to your side, and hold the forearm straight out. Grab ahold of the band and rotate your arm as far out as possible. Repeat 15-20 times. You can also do this exercise the other way by making your injured shoulder the closest to the pole and just rotating in the opposite direction.
(2) This is an exercise that I was told to do, which happens to be one from the P90X workouts as well. You will need light dumbbells for this exercise (I used 10lbs). With the dumbbell in hand, start out with arms down, parallel to your side. While keeping the arm straight, lift up straight in front of you until you reach 90 degrees. 15-20 reps.
(3) This is another exercise from the P90X workouts, and very similar to the one above. With dumbbell in hand, start out with arm down to the side. Keep arm straight and lift up to the side until you reach 90 degrees. 15-20 reps.
(4) You will need a lighter dumbbell, possibly 5-8lbs for this exercise. With dumbbell in hand, start out with arm 90 degrees to the side. Rotate arm in small circles clockwise for 10 reps, and then switch to counter-clockwise for 10 reps.
(5) Lie down on your stomach on a bench. With 5-10lbs dumbbell in hand, dangle arm to the side. Lift arm to the side until you reach 90 degrees, or when arm is completely parallel to your back, and then go back down. Be sure to control the weight when going back down. 15-20 reps.
(6) Shoulder shrugs. Most of you have heard of this exercise before, as it’s an exercise most weight-lifters use in their routine. Because of your injured shoulder, you might want to stick with lighter weights than normal. I would use 40 lbs for this exercise when I was injured. Start out with dumbbell in hand with arm down to the side. Shrug your shoulder, keeping your arm still down to the side, and then release back down. Do not try to rush through this exercise! 12-15 reps.
*Note: With all the exercises, it would be good to use both arms instead of just the injured one so that you don’t overdevelop one over the other.