Are you struggling with shoulder pain? If so, there’s a 44%-65% chance you’re dealing with shoulder impingement syndrome.

Shoulder impingement occurs when your shoulder blade rubs the rotator cuff under it. This usually happens if you’re making many overhead motions. That’s why sports like swimming and volleyball often cause shoulder pain.

One way to recover from this injury is to improve your shoulder mobility. Read on to learn about five shoulder impingement exercises you can use for this purpose.

1. Side-Lying Flexion

Lie on your side, with your sore shoulder facing up. While keeping your elbow straight, start slowly sweeping your arm in front of your body. Once the arm is over your head, do a reverse motion to bring it back to your side.

For best results, perform two sets of 15 repetitions on both shoulders. Do so even if the other shoulder is healthy. Keeping both shoulders equally strong and mobile can prevent a future shoulder injury.

2. Bilateral Band Rotation

This is a great exercise for improving your range of motion. Grip a resistance band with your palms facing up and your hands next to the body. Bend the elbows 90 degrees, then tuck both arms against your sides.

Now stretch the band as far as you can while squeezing the shoulder blades together and keeping the elbows tight. Reverse the motion until your arms are shoulder-width apart. Do two sets of eight to 12 reps.

3. Wall Slide

Place your hand against a wall while keeping your arm straight. Then, slide the same hand up against the wall as high as it will go. Move your body forward to make this possible, but keep the arm straight.

While your hand is in the top position, hold it there for a few seconds. Then, slide it back down the wall to complete the rep. Do 15-20 reps with both arms, but watch out for any shoulder instability.

4. Pec Stretch

For this exercise, you can either use a rack or stand in a doorway. Place one hand on the rack/doorframe with the elbow bent 90 degrees. Spread your feet and push the torso forward until you feel your pecs stretching.

Hold the position for about 30 seconds, then release. Do two to five sets with both shoulders. If you have limited shoulder mobility during this exercise, consider contacting a professional.

5. Band Extension

Anchor a resistance band to a robust object at about head height. Grip both ends of the band, then step back until you notice tension in the band. While keeping your elbows straight, pull both ends toward your hips.

Once your hands are next to your hips, squeeze the shoulder blades together and return to the starting position. Do three sets of 12 reps. It’s fine if your arms graze your torso a bit as you’re doing this exercise.

Shoulder Impingement Exercises and You

With most shoulder injuries, the best thing you can do is stay active. Doing these shoulder impingement exercises three times a week is a good start. That said, if working out causes pain, you may need shoulder surgery.

Looking for professional help with your shoulder impingement? At Idaho Shoulder to Hand, we offer personalized compassionate care to all our patients! Make an appointment with us today!