Shoulder pain is a major inconvenience for daily life since most of your tasks are done with the upper body. The shoulder is one of the more complex areas of the body to heal. The joint itself, labrum, ligaments, rotator cuff muscles, and shoulder girdle make up the entire shoulder so it is easy to develop pain. The most important part of the shoulder to strengthen is the shoulder girdle.
The shoulder girdle includes the collar bone, sternum, shoulder blade, humerus, rib cage, and even the spine. The major muscle groups of the shoulder girdle include the Pecs, Traps, Lats, and Deltoids. There are even smaller deeper muscles within the shoulder girdle. The reason it is so important to strengthen these muscles is they are very large and can handle a lot of stress. When they all move properly and with control, the smaller structures of the shoulder stay healthy and pain free.
The basic motions that are often used to strengthen the shoulder girdle are push and pull motions. They are done vertically such as when you set dishes in an overhead cupboard, or horizontally like when you pull a door open towards you. A basic movement that we don’t often do in our daily lives is diagonal motion of the shoulder. Diagonals are important because they bring together all of the different muscles of the shoulder girdle. They then force them to work together to keep the shoulder stable and to move efficiently. The rotation aspect coordinates the shoulder with the spine more than the other motions described above.
Lifts and Chops
Great exercises to improve the movement of the shoulder girdle include Lifts and Chops. The movement of both of these exercises is a diagonal motion across the front of the body. To perform Lifts, take a weight or band in both hands, preferably palms down. From one side of the body below the hips, pull up to the center of the chest, then press up to the opposite side of the body. To perform chops, it is basically the same motion. Take a band from one side of the body above the head, and lower it close to the chest. Then push down to the other side of the body below the hips. They can be done with a dumbbell, medicine ball, or resistance band (Cook band). Lifts and Chops can also be done when you stand, or kneel.
Best Equipment for Lifts and Chops
- Cook Bands are great because you can use them for both lifts and chops. CLICK HERE to purchase them online.
- Medicine Balls are super durable and great for lifts. Click HERE to purchase them online.
- Adjustable Dumbbells are great because you can use them for lifts and many different exercises. CLICK HERE to shop for them online.
- Adjustable Resistance Bands can be used for both lifts and chops. CLICK HERE for one example.
If these motions cause pain in the shoulder, there may be a different underlying problem. You should always consult with a health care provider when dealing with excessive pain.
About COOR Wellness
COOR Wellness in Grand Junction, Colorado is a chiropractic and wellness center that helps people help themselves get out of pain and return to their healthy activities. To learn more about our unique process that helps people out of pain and to transformation wellness, click HERE.
Going to COOR Wellness is not like seeing your traditional chiropractor who over recommends unnecessary care. We are here to help you feel better without ongoing never ending care.