Shoulder adduction occurs when you move your shoulder or upper arm toward the mid-line of your body. Your latissimus dorsi, pectoralis major, teres major, coracobrachialis, and the long head of your triceps brachii muscle all act to adduct your shoulder. Several exercises that strengthen these muscles are executed through shoulder adduction.
Shoulder adduction is a stretching exercise that can help restore shoulder flexibility and relieve pain over time. Perform this exercise after warming up the muscles around your shoulder joint. Sit or stand with your back straight. Drape your right arm across the front of your body and place your hand on your left shoulder. Point your shoulder away from your body and lift it to shoulder height. Place your left hand on your right elbow and push your elbow toward your left shoulder until you feel a stretch. Hold this position for 30 seconds and then repeat the exercise with your other arm.
Resisted Shoulder Adduction
The resisted shoulder adduction exercise gently strengthens your lattisimus dorsi and triceps muscles. Attach a resistance band to a sturdy object such as a door knob. Stand with your left side next to the door and grasp the band with your left hand. Step away from the door until there is tension in the band and your arm is fully extended at shoulder height. Keeping your elbow straight, slowly lower your arm down until it is against the side of your body. In a controlled manner, return to the staring position. Complete 10 repetitions and then switch arms.
Cable Crossover Flys
Many exercises that work the pectoralis major muscle of the chest involve shoulder adduction, specifically flys. This exercise uses your pec muscles to bring your arms toward your body. Stand between two high-cable machines with your legs slightly apart and your torso bent forward. Grasp the handles of the cable machines with an overhand grip and begin with your arms spread apart and your elbows slightly bent. Pull on the handles to squeeze your arms together until your wrists touch. With control, return to the starting position. Complete one to three sets of 10 reps of the exercise.
Pulling exercises such as the pull-up, seated row and lat pull-down rely on your latissimus dorsi and teres major to pull your arms toward your body to perform shoulder adduction. Complete one to three sets of 10 repetitions of the lat pull-down and seated row to develop the bulk of your back muscles.
To perform a pull-up, hang from a fixed bar with an overhand grip and your arms extended. Simply pull your chest up to bar level and then slowly return to the starting position. This is a very difficult exercise so you may only be able to perform one or two at a time.
The lat pull-down uses the same principles as the pull-up. Sit facing a lat pull-down machine with your legs positioned under the pads. Grasp the bar with a wider overhand grip and then pull the bar down to your chest while pulling your elbows back. Carefully allow the handle to return to the initial position.
Sit facing a rowing machine with your feet resting on the foot plates and your torso bent forward. Grasp the handle with both hands and then bring it to the base of your sternum by straightening your back and pulling your elbows back as far as possible. Slowly return to the starting position.