Protecting Your Shoulders During Exercise

exercise your shoulders

Shoulders exercise

In our day-to-day lives, we use our shoulders to carry things like work bags, boxes and even our own children. At the gym, in weight loss programs, our shoulders are used for many different upper-body movements. We rotate our shoulders for warm-ups. We use it to lift weights, dumbbells and kettlebells. In swimming, making a stroke with a bad shoulder is next to impossible. Baseball and softball players can also injure themselves when throwing or batting. This is why protecting the shoulder and the shoulder blades is a must.

Exercise Bands and Cords

Exercise bands and stretch cords are very helpful in preventing shoulder injuries. When used during warm ups, they can increase a person’s heart rate, temperature and circulation. This increases the range of movement in our joints, especially before swimming and other pool exercises.

Foam Rollers

Exercises with foam rollers protect and strengthen the shoulders. People can place a roller on the floor and lie on their backs with it directly on their shoulders. They should support their heads with their hands and roll from their shoulders to the middle of their backs. Doing this and shoulder rotations prevents injuries caused by overuse.

Hand Walks

Another good warm up exercise for the shoulders is to do hand walks. Bend over. Keep your knees straight. Start walking with your hands forward until your body stretches into a push-up position. Get back into your bent position by walking forward with your feet. Repeat.

When lifting weights, remember to choose weights that one can lift for at least 10 reps. Use this weight for four weeks before adding lifting heavier weights. In the first tries of your new weight, let your shoulders get used to it by decreasing your reps by half. Increase your reps in your new weight every two weeks.

Bursitis Injury

Bursitis is one common shoulder injury. It happens when the bursa or fluid-filled sacs in the shoulder get swollen. They often swell when the shoulders impinge them incorrectly during punches, blows or falls. When the shoulder bursa swell, they prevent the shoulders from moving.

The first aid to this injury is to apply ice for 20 minutes thrice a day for the first three days. Then, apply a hot compress with the same frequency for days 4 to 6. A good way to rehabilitate from this injury is to rest for two weeks. Cross-training in other sports in the weeks after this will also be good, as long as it has doctor approval.

Athletes are more prone to this injury during cold climate, so warm ups and layered sportswear are highly recommended for prevention.

The tendons in the shoulders can also tear partially. Once this happens, one should rest from his or her fitness program for at least two weeks. Otherwise, they might develop full-tears, especially if they are over 40 years old.

Over-the-counter pain medicines and rest are recommended for when one tears a shoulder tendon. Use an arm-sling to support the arm while the shoulder heals. This will also minimize shoulder movement and prevent further tearing.

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