You can get shoulder pain anytime due to an injury or the wrong movements of the muscles. For this, you will be referred to a physical therapist who will help you control the pain. It will help your shoulder get back to normal functionality and help them regain normal control. A physical therapist will show you various treatments to help solve your problem. Here, exercise is one of the best treatments and after ascertaining your condition, the therapist will prescribe the correct scapular stabilization exercises for you.
One of the treatments to heal shoulder pain is scapular stabilization exercises. Now let us learn what scapular shoulder stabilization is.
Scapular Shoulder Stabilization
The scapula is mainly known as a shoulder blade. It is a bone that has a triangular shape on each side of your upper back. One of the parts of the scapula is the socket of the shoulder joint.
In case of a shoulder injury, it becomes difficult to move your arm properly and then you start using the shoulder blade to help move your arm. If you continue using your shoulder blade after the injury has healed, it can restrict your normal arm use and lead to poor habits. Here, your physical therapist is likely to prescribe you scapular stabilization exercises that will get back your normal control on hand and shoulder.
You may need scapular stabilization exercises due to the following reasons
- The shoulder arthritis
- Shoulder surgery
- The shoulder bursitis
- Shoulder dislocation
- Snapping scapula syndrome
- Frozen shoulder
Here are some of the best scapular stabilization exercises that can help your shoulder gain normal movements. One thing you should understand here is that you must perform these exercises only after consulting your physical therapist. No attempt at these exercises must be made without prior consultation. Also, check out a 5-day workout split to do at home.
Scapular Stabilization Exercises:
For this exercise, you will have to complete 2 to 3 sets with repetitions of 15 to 20. To perform this exercise, you must follow the below steps.
- Stand at a wall with your hands placed on it at your chest level and your shoulder apart.
- Keep your palms flat on the wall with the arms locked out
- Do not bend your arms and reach out to the breastbone until both your shoulder bones come together at your back.
- Push the sternum away from the wall with both your hands evenly until the scapula opens and your upper back is rounded.
- You must repeat this.
Prone Row Exercise
- Prone row exercise is performed on a bed while lying on your stomach. You should hang your arm straight down the bed.
- Now bend your elbow slowly and lift the arms towards the armpits. You must feel a motion like that of pulling the rope to start a lawnmower.
- Your shoulder blade will slowly move backward and up when you move your arm.
- When your hands are near your armpit, hold the position for two seconds and then slowly go down to the starting position.
- Make at least 8 to 10 repetitions of this exercise. A small dumbbell or weight in your hand can make this exercise more challenging.
Prone T Exercise
- Prone means lying face down. For prone T exercise, you must lie on the edge of the bed on your stomach and hang your arm down.
- Your other hand can support your forehead.
- Now you must lift your hand straight out to the side and touch your shoulder blades towards your spine.
- This position will feel like one-half of the letter T. After holding this position for two seconds slowly go back to the starting point.
- Make at least 8 to 15 repetitions of this exercise and move to the next exercise once you are done.
Prone I Exercise
- Lie at the edge of a bed on your stomach with your arm hanging straight down. You should keep the elbow straight and raise your arm overhead.
- This will slowly pinch your shoulder blade and your arm will be near your ear at the top position.
- Hold the position for two seconds and return to the start position. Do the repetitions at least 8 to 15 times.
- You can make this scapular stabilization exercise challenging if you feel you can perform them easily.
- For making it challenging, hold a small dumbbell or other weight not weighing more than 2 pounds.
- You must never carry too much weight too soon, as it can increase your pain instead of alleviating it.
Prone Y Exercise
- In this exercise, your arm is in a position that makes the letter Y.
- You must lie on the bed on your stomach and hang your arm straight down.
- Now, lift your arm slowly in a diagonal direction.
- Your shoulder blade will pinch back behind you.
- Here, your thumb will be facing up towards the ceiling and you will feel like one-half of the letter Y.
- Hold the position for two seconds and get back to the starting position slowly.
- Make 8 to 15 repetitions of this exercise.
- Perform this exercise with 2 to 3 sets of 15 to 20 repetitions each.
- This exercise is done with a light band.
- Stand with two hands facing each other in a shoulder-width position.
- Take one long band in both hands without tension.
- Pull apart the band with both the arms to the side.
- Stretch it as wide as possible while staying at the height of the shoulder.
- Now slowly bring both arms together.
- Control the band pull until the hands return to the starting position.
- You must stand facing the anchor with the resistance band at the height of the elbow.
- Step back until the band has a mild tension and your arms are straight. Stand tall while bringing shoulders back and down, engaging abdominal muscles.
- Squeeze the shoulder blades behind you while drawing your elbows back.
- The muscle between your shoulder blade must feel the stretch and your chest should open. By doing this scapular stabilization exercise, your scapular muscles are improved for posture and scapular positioning.
- You must perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions for this exercise.
Wall Ball Circles
- This exercise involves using an 8-pound medicine ball.
- You must do at least 3 sets with 12 to 15 repetitions on each arm in each direction. Firstly, you must stand flat facing the wall.
- Put your feet shoulder-width apart, with your one hand press the medicine ball towards upward direction against the wall with a flat palm about the height of the shoulder.
- Do not allow the ball to drop. With your palm only, roll the ball in small circles in a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction.
Stability Ball Push Up
- Both hands in this exercise must be in a push-up position centered on the stability ball.
- Both your feet must be apart approximately the hip-width on the floor.
- With all your strength lower yourself down so that the ball touches the chest.
- While exhaling stabilizes the stability ball and presses yourself back to the starting position.
- The purpose of this exercise is to keep the forearms always on the wall when you slide them up and down.
- The scapula should rotate around the rib cage.
- Your arms movement must be intact and should not get apart from the elbow, as it will draw the focus away from the upper back.
- Shoulder mobility increases with wall slides along with the activation of the stabilization of upper back muscles.
Wall Walks With a Mini Band
- You must never select a resistance that is too heavy while selecting a scapular stabilization exercise.
- If the resistance is too heavy, then the shoulder will shrug causing the main movers to take over the movement and not work effectively on stabilizing the muscles.
- Here a mini band will allow your shoulders to stay intact and your forearm will walk up the wall.
- Throughout the exercise, your spine must be neutral, and the forearms must be parallel to each other.
- In the beginning, you must aim for 2 to 3 sets with 5 repetitions each.
Arm Raises With a Mini Band
- Throughout the exercise, you must maintain a stretch on the band and the position of the palms must also be maintained throughout the movement.
- Pull your arms apart at the elbow and raise it to the overhead when it gets to the point of full extension.
- Hold the position for 3 seconds and then slowly return to the start position. This movement will benefit your shoulder mobility and scapular stability.
- You must do 2 to 3 sets of this exercise with 5 repetitions.
Barbell Bent-Over Row
- The upper body posture is very important in this exercise.
- Throughout the exercise, your spine must be in a neutral position.
- Your upper body must be bent in a horizontal position from the hips.
- The horizontal position describes the muscles that are worked on during the exercise.
- Make sure only your arms move when you are rowing towards the lower ribs.
- You must include 2 to 3 sets with 10 repetitions.
Dysfunction in the shoulder and pain are the common problems your physical therapist will help you manage. When you include the above-listed scapular stabilization exercises in your routine you can create strong scapular stabilizers.
These exercises are a great way to recuperate normal control after shoulder surgery or injury. You must do these exercises a few times a week to maintain proper strength and to control the posture of your shoulder. It helps prevent problems in the future. Before you start, always listen to your body, and only go until your comfort limit.
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