Elevate Performance Therapy

Build Strength With These Effective Shoulder Workouts

Shoulder pain is a common issue that affects people from all walks of life.

Whether you’re an active individual, a runner, a gym-goer, or someone with a job that requires a lot of overhead reaching and manual labor, such as construction workers or painters, you’re particularly at risk.

Shoulder pain can hinder your performance and impact your daily life significantly.

The good news is that incorporating specific shoulder workouts into your routine can help prevent and resolve shoulder pain, strengthening the muscles around the area and preventing common injuries.

Understanding Shoulder Pain

Before diving into the shoulder workouts, it’s important to understand what causes shoulder pain.

Shoulder pain is often caused by overuse injuries. These conditions arise from repetitive stress on the shoulder joint, poor posture, and muscle imbalances.

Common shoulder injuries include:

  • Rotator Cuff Injuries: These occur when the tendons of the rotator cuff become inflamed or torn, often due to repetitive overhead movements.
  • Shoulder Impingement: This happens when the shoulder blade puts pressure on the underlying soft tissues when the arm is lifted.
  • Frozen Shoulder: This condition involves stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint, often limiting the range of motion.
  • Tendinitis: Inflammation of the tendons in the shoulder, commonly resulting from repetitive overhead activities.

Understanding these common injuries and their causes can help you implement effective shoulder workouts to strengthen your shoulders and prevent further issues.

1. Pendulum Swing


  1. Lean forward, supporting yourself with one arm on a table or chair.
  2. Let the other arm hang freely.
  3. Gently swing it in small circles.


This exercise helps to gently mobilize the shoulder joint, reducing stiffness and promoting pain relief. Pendulum swings are excellent for improving blood flow and reducing tension in the shoulder area, making them a great addition to your shoulder workouts routine.

2. Doorway Stretch


  1. Stand in a doorway and raise your arms so your elbows are at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Place your forearms against the door frame.
  3. Gently lean forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your shoulders.


This stretch opens up the chest and shoulders, enhancing flexibility and reducing the risk of shoulder injuries. Incorporate this stretch into your routine to maintain shoulder health and mobility, especially if you engage in activities that require a lot of overhead reaching.

3. Wall Slides


  1. Stand with your back against a wall, arms in a ‘W’ position.
  2. Slide your arms upward into a ‘Y’ position, keeping contact with the wall.
  3. Hold for a few seconds, then slide back down.


Wall slides improve shoulder mobility and strengthen the muscles that support the shoulder blades, promoting better posture and reducing pain. This exercise is particularly beneficial for those who spend long hours sitting or working in positions that strain the shoulders.

4. External Rotation with Resistance Band


  1. Attach a resistance band to a stable object.
  2. Stand with your side facing the anchor point, holding the band with the hand opposite the anchor.
  3. Keep your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle and close to your side.
  4. Rotate your arm outward, away from your body.
  5. Slowly return to the starting position.


This exercise targets the rotator cuff muscles, which are crucial for shoulder stability and strength. Strengthening these muscles helps prevent injuries and supports overall shoulder function. Incorporating resistance band exercises into your shoulder workouts can provide a dynamic and effective way to build strength.

5. Scapular Push-Ups


  1. Start in a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders.
  2. Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels.
  3. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, lowering your body slightly without bending your elbows.
  4. Push back up to the starting position.


Scapular push-ups strengthen the muscles around the shoulder blades, enhancing stability and reducing the risk of shoulder injuries. This exercise also promotes better posture and overall upper body strength, making it a valuable addition to your shoulder workouts.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Ignoring Proper Form

Maintaining proper form during shoulder workouts is crucial to prevent injuries. Avoid slouching or hunching your shoulders, as this can lead to muscle imbalances and strain. Always engage your core and keep your spine neutral to support your shoulder movements.


Overtraining can lead to shoulder pain and injuries. It’s important to give your muscles time to recover between workouts. Incorporate rest days into your routine and listen to your body. If you experience pain or discomfort, take a break and consult a professional.

Skipping Warm-Ups

Skipping warm-ups can increase the risk of shoulder injuries. Always start your shoulder workouts with a proper warm-up to prepare your muscles and joints for the exercises ahead. Dynamic stretches and mobility drills are excellent for getting your shoulders ready for action.

Neglecting Flexibility

Flexibility is a key component of shoulder health. Neglecting flexibility exercises can lead to stiffness and limited range of motion. Incorporate stretches like the Doorway Stretch and other mobility exercises into your routine to maintain flexibility and prevent injuries.

Focusing Only on the Front Muscles

Many people focus solely on the front shoulder muscles, neglecting the muscles in the back. This can lead to muscle imbalances and shoulder pain. Make sure your shoulder workouts include exercises that target both the front and back shoulder muscles for balanced strength.

Free Discovery Visit at Elevate Performance Therapy

Summer sports or overhead activities causing shoulder pain? We’ve got you covered!

This June, Elevate Performance Therapy is excited to offer a FREE Shoulder Pain Assessment.

Whether you’re lifting weights, serving aces on the tennis court, or just reaching for that top shelf, shoulder pain shouldn’t hold you back.

This offer is perfect for:

  • Athletes and fitness enthusiasts aiming to prevent shoulder injuries.
  • Overhead workers like painters and construction professionals.
  • Anyone seeking an active, pain-free lifestyle.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to reclaim your strength and mobility.

This is your chance to get clarity on the root of your pain and discover what solutions are available to you so you can get back to your favorite activities and day-to-day life.

You get to meet the team, discuss your pain story, see if we’re the right fit, and explore what treatment options are available. Don’t let shoulder pain hold you back any longer.

Reach out to us at Elevate Performance Therapy and take the first step towards a pain-free, active lifestyle.