Physical fitness has become a global movement in recent years that not only aims to encourage people to be fit and confident, but also to boost their self-esteem and decrease their risk of developing lifestyle diseases and injuries.
Statistics show that 7.5 million people consulted a doctor in 2006 because of shoulder problems including shoulder sprains, strains, dislocation, and rotator cuff injuries.
Athletes are more at risk of shoulder injuries but even non-athletic people can sustain one when doing daily activities such as lifting heavy objects, gardening, hanging decorations, and doing intense workouts with poor body mechanics.
To achieve a strong set of shoulders, try these exercises:
1. Standing Wall Push-Up
Standing wall push-ups target your shoulders, arms, and chest.
You can do wall push-ups even while you’re watching a TV program or listening to a podcast.
Stand in front of a wall. Place your hands on the wall at arm’s length with your feet a shoulder-width apart.
Perform just like an ordinary push-up. Bend your elbows as you lean your body toward the wall. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
Gently push yourself back into a neutral position.
Repeat this exercise for about 10-15 times, twice a day.
2. Shoulder Blade Squeeze
The shoulder blade squeeze is a popular form of shoulder exercise to strengthen and stabilize your shoulder blades, upper arm, and chest muscles.
It can also help improve your posture.
Stand or sit up straight. (You can do the exercise either in a standing or sitting position).
Pull your shoulder blades back until you feel a squeeze between your shoulder blades. Maintain this position for about 3-5 seconds. Return to a neutral position.
Repeat this exercise 30 times, at least 3-4 times a day.
3. Bent Over Dumbbell Raise
This exercise targets your deltoid muscles and can be done while sitting or standing.
The sitting position is recommended if you are experiencing lower back problems.
Sit on the end of a sturdy and stable bench while keeping your legs together.
Place a dumbbell facing forward at each of your leg’s rear.
Bend your waist and keep your back straight while you’re reaching out for the dumbbells at your rear.
Lift the dumbbells to the side until your arms become parallel to the floor. Maintain this position for 1-2 seconds, then lower the dumbbells slowly back to your starting position.
Do this exercise several times as desired.
4. Shoulder Extension Exercises
You only need a doorknob and an elastic band to do this exercise!
Attach or anchor your elastic band to the doorknob.
Grab the free end of the elastic band.
Pull back the band while keeping your shoulders down. Hold this position for about 5 seconds. Return to a neutral position.
Repeat 12-20 times with each arm, twice a day.
Other Ways to Strengthen Your Shoulders
Aside from performing exercises, you can also increase your shoulder strength by getting the right nutrition.
Aside from protein, which is important in tissue repair, you also need a good dose of the following nutrients:
Vitamin C is a great antioxidant that protects the skin, bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons.
It also makes your muscles more flexible.
Among the best food sources of vitamin C are oranges, bell peppers, guavas, berries, and broccoli.
Zinc helps your immune system fight off bacteria and viruses.
It is also an important component of muscle building and plays a role in wound healing.
Oysters are considered as the best source of zinc. Other food sources include red meat, crabs, lobsters, and beans.
B-vitamins. B-vitamins such as B6 and B12 play an important role in muscle growth and recovery.
They help produce red and white blood cells which are invaluable factors for muscle growth and repair.
Great sources of B-vitamins are salmon, eggs, spinach, clams, turkey, potatoes, and bananas.
Vitamin D and Calcium. According to NHS Choices, adults need at least 700 mg of calcium daily to ensure bone health.
Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium in the bones, thereby promoting bone growth.
Good sources of calcium include milk, cheese, green leafy vegetables, tofu, nuts, and fish.
On the other hand, you can get a good dose of vitamin D from salmon, mackerel, sardines, eggs, and fortified breakfast cereals.
How To Prevent Shoulder Injuries
Rest Your Shoulders
Pain and discomfort can indicate that your shoulder muscles and joints are already stressed and need some rest.
Even if the pain is manageable, don’t ignore it.
Doing a particular activity repetitively can result in overuse injuries.
Wear Protective Gear When Doing Sports
Don’t forget to wear protective gear on your shoulders especially when playing contact sports such as baseball, basketball, soccer, and football.
The shoulder joint is highly movable, making it unstable and more prone to injuries like shoulder dislocation and shoulder separation.
Depending on the nature of your sports activity, you can wear a shoulder brace with adjustable levels of compression to protect your shoulders and minimize your risk of sustaining shoulder injuries.
Observe Proper Posture And Body Mechanics
Doing so allows you to maximize your strength and use the proper set of muscles when completing workouts or chores.
When lifting a heavy object, spread your feet apart to widen your base of support.
When picking up an object, squat down while keeping your back and shoulders straight.
Grab the object with your open palms and fingers, slowly lift the object, and hold the object as close to your body as possible.
Overreaching can lead to shoulder injuries such as a rotator cuff tear and shoulder strain.
When reaching for an object, use a step stool.
If you don’t have a step stool, you can also use a sturdy chair with a wide platform.
Better yet, place your frequently used items on the lower shelves so that you don’t have to overreach for them every time.
Shoulder exercises will not make you immune to shoulder injuries but they can greatly reduce your risk of developing one.
Although core, leg, and arm exercises are trendy, shoulder fitness must also be included in your routine to ensure a whole body fitness regimen.
You Might Also Like
|FREE Weekly To Do List Printable
Free gift for you, just fill in your email address to get your Weekly To Do List Printable and updates on our new articles.