The shoulders are a fairly common area of aches and pain with our clients, along with the low back, hips and knees. As a result, we put together a shoulder protocol to help build strength and stability to ease shoulder discomfort.

Most shoulder issues are usually a result of tight traps, pecs, and lats.  When tight or overactive, they tend to pull the shoulders forward and give someone a rounded shoulder or “slouched” posture. Spending time in this position weakens the muscles of the upper back and the scapular stabilizers. When this happens, nagging injuries and eventually pain usually follow at some point.

To relieve the tightness in the shoulders, you need to foam roll the traps, pecs, and lats to try to get these muscles to “calm down” so the smaller muscles can help stabilize the shoulder joint. When foam rolling, hold the tender/painful spot until the spot has reduced in intensity by at least 70%. If the spot is to tender/painful, go as long as you can tolerate, or move to a spot that isn’t quite as tender and go from there. To view our foam rolling video’s, please check out our YouTube page. Once there, you can scroll down to our Mobility/Foam Rolling section to view all of our mobility and foam rolling videos.

Once the foam rolling is done mobility is the next step. Mobility is the movement of a joint in different planes.  Some joints have limited mobility, but greater stability (knees, lower back) while others have great mobility, but aren’t nearly as stable (shoulders, hips, etc).

When someone has slouched posture because of the tightness mentioned above, their shoulder mobility is usually greatly reduced.  As a result, shoulder mobility exercise, like the ones mentioned in the video below, must be introduced as soon as possible.


Once you are mobilized and ready to go, you can perform the shoulder exercises, ideally in order:

The following exercises are to be done in a superset pattern for 2 sets per exercise, 12-15 reps.

1a Tube Combo
1b External Rotation

2a Rear Delts
2b Dumbbell Scapcion

3 Internal Rotation

4a External Rotation 90
4b Scapular Pushup

5a PNF Pattern 1
5b PNF Pattern 2

6 Seated Press-ups

7a Bicep Curl
7b Tricep Pushdown

8a Wrist Flexion
8b Wrist Extension

9a Wrist Supination
9b Wrist Pronation

If you have healthy shoulders, you may use this as a warm-up
progression. One set of each exercise for 6-8 reps.

Author: Dave Radin


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