4 Effective Shoulder Protection Exercises

Lazar Angelov
Lazar Angelov
Fitness Model
We rarely think about how important yet vulnerable our shoulders are. They are very flexible, which is, of course, good in many ways, but this also makes our shoulders susceptible to various accidents and injuries. The key part of a shoulder is the ball-and-socket joint: the ball is a part of your upper arm bone and is slightly bigger in size than the socket on which it moves. Numerous ligaments, tendons and muscles hold the ball in place and enhance the fluidity of movements. A shoulder has three major bones: upper arm bone (or humerus), shoulder blade (or scapula) and collarbone (or clavicle). The three bones work together to ensure flexibility and mobility of your shoulders

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Shoulders, like any other part of our body, are at risk of injuries caused by external trauma. These include strains, dislocations, sprains, and fractures, and can be caused by improper lifting of heavy objects, falling, or even maintaining poor posture during physical exercises. 

We can strengthen our shoulders and make them less vulnerable to injury by training them. The exercises presented below allow shoulders to better withstand a sudden jerk, pull or impact. If you work out on a regular basis, these will be particularly relevant for you.

Shoulder Protection Exercises

1. Face Pull

When engaging in any routine, that involves pressing and pulling activities, you need to keep to the ratio of 1 press to 2 pulls. For example, if you are trying out rows and presses, then you can have 2 rows to 1 press.

With the face pull, you will be able to strengthen your external rotators, rear deltoids, and rhomboids, while giving your overall posture a lift. Perform this exercise before you engage in your regular exercise regimen, to warm up your shoulders and protect them from injury.

  • Get a rope and attach it to a pulley, that has been set up at the height of your shoulders
  • With an overhand grip, firmly hold onto the rope at both ends
  • Step back until there is some tension in the rope. Slightly bend your knees to keep balance
  • Extend your arms in front of you
  • Pull the rope closer to your face, while allowing your upper back to stiffen
  • Keep the posture steady for 2-3 seconds
  • Gradually return to the starting position
  • Repeat 20 times

2. T-Spine Twist

Thoracic spine helps you maintain proper posture and also aids mobility. If you have a problem with your thoracic spine, then you are putting too much pressure on your lower back, as it does all the work. Consequently, you are more likely to experience pains, particularly in your shoulder blades. You can protect yourself from this problem by regularly performing the T-Spine twist.

  • Face down on a Yessis GHR, or use a 45° back raise. Keep the posture as straight as possible and place your hip on the edge of the pad
  • Start to twist your upper arm from the center of your back, while pulling the shoulder blade towards the spine. Your other shoulder blade should be pushed in the opposite direction
  • Switch and repeat on the other side. Perform 2 sets, one for each side, with 10 repeats for each set

3. Overhead Shrug

The overhead shrug is an effective shoulder-protection exercise, that will improve your overall body posture, as well as boost your core strength.

  • Hold on to a bar using your regular bench grip and lift it above your head
  • Without moving your arms or torso, bring your shoulder blades together 
  • Tighten your trapezius, as you do this, and maintain this posture for 2-3 seconds
  • Return to the starting position
  • Perform 2 sets of between 8 and 12 repeats

4. Diving Seagulls

The diving seagulls are quite easy to perform, but this does not make it an ineffective exercise. It helps you keep the shoulder blades in an optimal position and improves your posture.  

  • Lay face down flat on the floor
  • Stretch out your arms, so that they are right above your head. There should be sufficient tension in your entire torso
  • Arch your arms, as you were moving them towards the hips. Stay in this position for 2-3 seconds
  • Return your arms to the starting position
  • Repeat 15 times

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These four exercises are an effective way for you to make your shoulders more resilient to external shocks. It is recommended, that you perform some of these before your regular workout to improve mobility and flexibility of your shoulders. These exercises will help you avoid unwanted accidents and support you in achieving your fitness objectives!


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