Shoulder Exercise Video Catalogue - For Patients

by Greg Lehman
Published on: May 3, 2020
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Audience: For Patients

Purpose: Pictures of common shoulder exercises

Why: “Tendinitis”, Tendinopathy, rotator cuff strains/tears, bursitis and shoulder instability (i.e. you dislocated/subluxated) can all be accompanied by impingement (e.g. when you move your arm the top of your arm bone pinches on your shoulder blade - click here for more and here)

The What: Below are lovely pictures of common shoulder exercises that the vast majority of people with shoulder pain can benefit from.  You therapist can work with you to tweak  your program.

Ancillary Exercises: Basic Spine Stability (click here) and Thoracic extension (click here and here).

Rotating the Shoulder - Rotator Cuff (both in and out)

The following exercises train the muscles of your rotator cuff.  They attempt to do this by minimizing the amount of activity of the big muscles above them.  Ideally, this helps in pulling the head of the arm bone down and away from the shoulder blade and any other structures that might get pinched and cause pain.

1. Shoulder External Rotation Exercise

2. Shoulder External Rotation at 90 degrees of arm elevation

3. Scaption

For this exercise your arms not directly to the front nor directly to side.  Rather, they are about 30 degrees away from the front.  Try to maintain a good upright posture through out the movement, minimize and stress you might feel in your neck muscles and breath throughout the motion.  Thumbs up.

4. Internal Rotation



Scapular Control

Warm up with Scapular Clocks

On A Bench

The following exercises are often performed with both arms and on an exercise ball.  If you don’t have a ball then they can be performed on a bench or even the side of a bed.   A weight can be used but you might find it is not necessary.

These exercises will train the rotator cuff musculature as well as the muscles that help control the position of your shoulder blade.

Unilateral T Exercise

Unilateral Y Exercise

Unilateral W Exercise (External Rotation at 90 degrees)

On the Ball

1. Ball Y’s

2. Ball T’s

3. Ball W’s (or L’s)


4. Or you can combine them all in a YTWL exercise

More Shoulder Blade Exercises

Serratus Punch


or with a dumbell

Scapular Push Up Plus

Postural Exercises

1. Scapular Wall Angels (not to be done if you have pain in your shoulders during this exercise)


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