Regular overstretching of the shoulder ligaments can cause instability and sometimes dislocation. Any sports activity with repeated overhead arm movements such as swimming, tennis or volleyball is a common cause particularly in participants under the age of 30. Ligaments are tough bands of connective tissue that link two bones together at a joint. Exercising the shoulder area can increase strength and help tighten the ligaments.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Small hand held weight
- Exercise resistance band
The NHS advises that if your shoulder joint dislocates severely or regularly then surgery may be required to prevent it happening again and to avoid the surrounding tissue and nerves becoming damaged. Consult your GP before embarking on an exercise plan especially if you have an injury or pain. If you are returning to exercise after surgery, ask your GP which activity would be appropriate.
Increase the range of movement and flexibility in your shoulder. Bend forwards at the waist and let your arms point down to towards the floor. Swing both arms in alternate directions forwards and backwards like a pendulum. Try to relax your arms to remove any tension in your shoulders. If you feel like you will lose your balance, use one arm at a time.
Relax then resume the same position. Swing the arms side to side. Aim to keep your torso static so it is not rotating from side to side. To build strength further, you could use some small, handheld weights.
Perform this exercise one arm at a time. Stand with your back against a wall. Keep your arm close to your side, elbow bent. Push the elbow back into the wall without moving your arm. Repeat 10 times. Gradually build up to 30 repetitions with each arm.
Stand sideways with one arm against a wall. Keep your upper arm touching the wall and bend your elbow. Push your elbow into the wall but do not let your arm move. Repeat 10 times on each side. Gradually build to 30 repetitions on each arm.
Kneel on all fours with your hands placed directly below your shoulders. Gently rock forwards taking the weight of your body through your arms. Keep your shoulder blades flat and back straight. Progress to lifting each arm individually into the air in different directions. Repeat 10 times.
Place the exercise resistance band under one foot. Stand with your feet hip width apart. Hold the band on one hand. Gently raise your arm to shoulder height. Lower your arm and repeat 10 times. Repeat with on the other side.
Tips and warnings
- Wear exercise clothing and shoes.
- Always drink plenty of fluids while exercising to avoid dehydration.
- For advanced strengthening exercises, consult your GP or exercise professional.
- Never exercise while muscles or ligaments are inflamed to avoid further injury.
- If you experience any severe pain, stop immediately.
- If discomfort or pain continues, seek medical advice.
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