Shoulder Rehab: What’s Next?

Shoulder Rehab: What’s Next?

So you’ve recently injured your shoulder. Maybe badly enough to warrant orthopedic surgery, maybe just enough to require therapy. Whatever the case, now it’s healing. You’ve spent the past several weeks in physical therapy getting it rubbed down, stretched out, and doing external rotation until the cows come home. Your arm is no longer in a sling and you’ve almost regained full range of motion with little residual pain.

At this point, by health insurance standards, you are healed, but common sense says otherwise: you have the body of an adult with the upper-body strength of an eight-year-old. You cannot go back to your regular routine, because your injured arm is still way too weak. What’s next? 

Fear not good people, there is still plenty you can do!

Although there is still more external rotation in your future (there will always be more after a shoulder injury), all of these exercises are far more fun than physical therapy.

The goal is threefold: mobility, stability, and strength.

Mobility

After most shoulder injuries, ROM (range of motion) is compromised. We are going to work on regaining your mobility with a few different movements.

Clock stretch

Chest Stretch

Stability

One of the most important abilities to regain is being able to stabilize and manipulate a weight with control. I know after my shoulder surgery, lifting my arms above shoulder height was a shaky affair.

Bottom up Carriers

Turkish Get-ups

Strength

This one needs no introduction, or explanation; you have to increase strength after an injury. You’ve just been weakened!

External Rotation

Lat/ Delt raises

And More Turkish Getups

Note: A Turkish getup is a complex exercise; have a qualified professional teach you the movement and keep the weight very light. In fact, start with your shoe.

If you were to do just these six exercises until mastery, it will take your shoulder from fragile to bulletproof in a few months. Go ahead, give it a try!

Got fitness questions? Email me at jd@jakedermer.com.  

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