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Research Quest on the top 10 shoulder rehab tips

Research Quest on the top 10 shoulder rehab tips
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Here are the top 10 tips on shoulder rehab that I’ve come across in the last 3 years.

1) If you want to put greater emphasis on the lower and middle trapezius, simply do the exercise with an open hand.

If you want to shift the focus to the rotator cuff, then do the exercise while making a fist.

2) Instead of just stretching the posterior capsule, try training the external rotators eccentrically.

When the rotator cuff gets better at decelerating the arm, the capsule is less likely to stiffen.

3) Battling to activate the lower and middle trapezius?

Simply add an external rotation component to an exercise, like this for example:

4) Improve your serratus anterior activation by adding elevation rather than just the usually straight-forward protraction exercises.

5) One of the best ways to improve an irritable shoulder is to perform passive posterior glides of the humeral head.

Another great method is doing a passive upward rotation of the scapula during active elevation.

6) If the rotator cuff is flaring up, one of the best ways to work it is by using a low-load closed-chain exercise such as bench slides or wall slides.

7) Pectoralis minor can be a pesky part of an irritable shoulder.

You could inhibit the muscle by performing external rotation in an open kinetic chain exercise.

8) Tired of doing just internal rotation for subscapularis activation?

Try doing flexion - extension exercises at low angles of elevation.

9) Both the supraspinatus and infraspinatus show good activation during external rotation.

10) Any type of plyometric elevation exercise that incorporates supination will work the biceps as well.

You can read this 2021 paper by Ann Cools and colleagues for more phenomenal tips.

Last point...

Want to specialise in shoulder injuries? Consider starting with swimmers.

More than 90% will suffer from a shoulder injury due to swimmers performing an average of 2500 shoulder revolutions per day (Struyf et al., 2017).


Ann M. Cools, Annelies G. Maenhout, Fran Vanderstukken, Philippe Declève, Fredrik R. Johansson, Dorien Borms, The challenge of the sporting shoulder: From injury prevention through sport-specific rehabilitation toward return to play, Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Volume 64, Issue 4, 2021, 101384, ISSN 1877-0657

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Written by Kyle van Heerden

Online Educator at Research Raconteur

Top 10 Research Quests from Research Raconteur

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