Top 6 Theraband Exercises for Shoulder Pain

A man standing with his hands far apart, stretching a theraband used for shoulder pain exercisesThe shoulder comprises three bones, namely the humerus (bone in the upper arm), scapula (shoulder blade), and clavicle (collarbone). Tendons, ligaments, and muscles play a role in keeping the shoulders stable. Therapeutic exercises target the following muscles in alleviating shoulder pain and weakness:

  • Deltoid (anterior, lateral, posterior)
  • Biceps brachii
  • Triceps
  • Rotator cuff (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis)
  • Middle and lower trapezius
  • Latissimus dorsi

Injuries or Impairments That Cause Shoulder Pain and Tightness

Common causes of shoulder pain and tightness include the following:

Top Theraband Shoulder Pain Exercises

If you’re wondering how to relieve shoulder pain, resistance band shoulder exercises are a good place to start. The top theraband exercises outlined are designed to improve shoulder mobility and work out the muscles crucial for stability, especially in the rotator cuff.

Rows Shoulder Extension and Abduction

Shoulder abduction and extension exercises work the muscles behind the shoulder and the upper back.

  • Wrap the exercise band around a stable but heavy object near your feet.
  • Grab the band with the hand of the affected shoulder, keeping the arm straight.
  • Raise the arm to the side, with the thumb pointing up.
  • Slowly pull the band over your head as far as possible without feeling pain.
  • Hold the position without letting the shoulder shrug.

Perform 1-2 sets, with 10-15 repetitions and 2-3 second holds, 2-3 times a day.

Bicep Curls

  • Stand with your feet apart, about the width of your hips, ensuring to keep the muscles engaged.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand and relax the arms down the sides of the body.
  • Maintain a stable position of the upper arms, with the shoulders relaxed. Bend the elbows, and lift the weights, bringing them to the shoulders while the elbows remain tucked close to the ribs. Exhale as you lift.
  • Lower the weight to the starting position.

Perform 1-2 sets with 15-20 repetitions and 2-3 second holds, 2-3 times each day.

A group of women practicing theraband shoulder pain exercises

Tricep Extension

  • Stand with your feet in a slightly split stance
  • The left foot should be slightly behind the right, with the legs about hip distance apart and weight evenly distributed.
  • With a dumbbell in each hand and the palms facing the ceiling, lift them directly overhead, with the head remaining aligned over the chest and the shoulders relaxed.
  • Extend both hands fully, exhale, lower the weight behind the head, and bend at the elbows. The chest remains aligned over the hips without arching the back.
  • Inhale and reverse the movement once you attain a 90-degree bend at the elbow.

Lat Pulldown

  • Choose a weight that you can control for 2-3 sets with 8-15 repetitions.
  • Grab the lat bar with an overhand grip, sit on the lat pulldown machine, secure your legs under the thigh pads, and place the feet firmly on the floor. Ensure your grip is slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Rotate the shoulders outward, with the blades remaining in a neutral position and arms long with a slight elbow bend.
  • Initiate the downward movement by pulling the shoulder blades down and elbows towards the spine as you squeeze the upper back and lat muscles.
  • Simultaneously straighten your arms to start the upward motion, ensuring you move the shoulder blades up and outward from the spine. Bring the lat bar back to its original position.

PNF patterns D1 and D2

The exercise uses auditory, cutaneous, as well as proprioceptive input to improve motor output. Stretching techniques include:

  • Contract-relax, where you passively move the affected body part until you feel resistance while contracting the antagonist muscles.
  • Hold-relax, where an isometric contraction of the antagonist plays the greatest role.
  • Slow-reversal-hold-relax, where you move the body part in an agonist pattern with isotonic contraction

Perform the exercise in 1-2 sets with 10 repetitions and 2-second holds, 2-3 times a day.

Shoulder Internal and External Rotation

  • For the internal rotation, tie one end of your therabands to a heavy and secure object.
  • Sit on a chair with a towel rolled up between the elbow and the side.
  • Bend the elbow to 90 degrees and gently squeeze the towel while slowly pulling the band across the chest. Stop when the hand reaches the opposite arm.
  • Hold one end of the band on the side not injured for the external rotation and place a towel between the elbow and the side.
  • Squeeze the towel with the elbow bent at 90 degrees.
  • Grab the end of the band and gently turn the arm outward, keeping the elbow bent.
  • Stop when you feel a stretch.

Perform the exercise in 1-2 sets with 15-20 repetitions with a 2-second hold 2-3 times a day.

Cawley Physical Therapy Can Help Your Relieve Shoulder Pain

If you are experiencing shoulder pain when reaching overhead, pulling, pushing, lifting, or even when stationary, performing theraband exercises in conjunction with seeking professional help from a trained physical therapist is the best way to get the relief you need.

The trained healthcare experts at Cawley Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation will work with you to develop an individualized physical therapy plan capable of improving your strength, range of motion, and posture, while also decreasing pain in order to get you back to your prior level of function.

Additionally, our staff has the skills and knowledge to identify other possible impairments to prevent future injuries or occurrences. Let us walk this journey with you in rehabilitating your shoulder. Contact Cawley Physical Therapy today to schedule your consultation.