Shoulder Injury Prevention Strength Program

The key to overall shoulder health is prevention. Shoulder exercises with a physical therapist will usually start with rotator cuff exercises. The rotator cuff consists of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis muscles. Unfortunately, these structures are not directly targeted with typical ‘shoulder’ exercises instructed in gyms and found on major online platforms such as YouTube. The rotator cuff exercises are usually the first structures targeted in a traditional physical therapy or rehabilitation plan of care. Luckily, we will teach you these exercises for optimal prevention to increase strength and hopefully avoid shoulder pain and disability.

The shoulder joint is a complex structure including the bony anatomy of the shoulder blade (scapula), collar bone (clavicle), and the upper arm (humerus). There is a multitude of muscular and nerve elements within the shoulder girdle, which are susceptible to compromise through various injuries, weakness, imbalances, and disease.

The shoulder is a ball and socket joint that is highly mobile, which makes it susceptible to injury. Typically conservative care is initially prescribed, with physical therapy and/or possibly an anti-inflammatory agent used to assist with improving symptoms. At times, surgical intervention is necessary for an individual to resume his or her previous normal shoulder function.

Once treated, it is vital to maintain and/or improve strength and flexibility within the entire shoulder girdle, treating individual portions, and understanding that it all works together for you to resume normal life and functional capacity.

Shoulder level 1 will safely assist you with maintaining or resuming proper alignment, educating you on the optimal shoulder and spinal posture, with basic level strengthening in preparation for increased demand with the corresponding following levels.

Level 2 will introduce resistance bands to be used which are necessary to increase strength. The principles and education in levels 1 and 2 will appropriately transition you to level 3. Shoulder Level 3 will progress you to standing dynamic activities and more triplanar exercises that mimic real-life movements.

We at Desire Wellness recommend 30 days of participation at each respective level. Each person progresses at his or her own rate.

Remember, everyone is different, taking into account age, medical history, compliance, and the ability for each activity. It is best to take your time at each level, not trying to get to the next level too quickly.

Muscle fiber size increase, also called hypertrophy, takes approximately 6-8 weeks to occur. With this in mind, consistency and patience is the key. It is completely normal to have some muscular soreness with this specialized program. Too much soreness might mean you need to either decrease the intensity level or return back one level and participate with that for a longer period of time. Mild muscular soreness the following day or 2 is your goal.

We are confident that you will see positive results within 30 days.

Dr. Marty Sanchez

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