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Exercises for Shoulder Inflammation

author image Matthew Schirm
Matthew Schirm has worked in the sports-performance field since 1998. He has professional experience as a college baseball coach and weight-training instructor. He earned a Master of Science in human movement from A.T. Still University in 2009.
Exercises for Shoulder Inflammation
You can relieve shoulder inflammation with regular exercise. Photo Credit Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images

Shoulder inflammation can occur because of a variety of causes, including acute injuries such as sprains and strains or chronic conditions such as arthritis, bursitis and tendinitis. Shoulder inflammation can cause pain and stiffness, leading to decreased shoulder joint range of motion. Performing stretching and strengthening exercises regularly may help remedy these symptoms. Stop exercising, however, and consult with your physician if your pain increases or does not go away.

Arm Swings

This series of exercises works the shoulder joints through every possible range of motion, including abduction, adduction, extension, flexion and rotation. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and arms at your sides, and keep your arms straight during each exercise in the series. Start by swinging your arms forward and upward, moving your hands over your head, and then back down, moving them behind your back as far as possible. Next, from the same starting position, cross your forearms in front of your abdomen with your palms facing your body, and then swing them away from each other and upward while rotating your arms so your palms face the ceiling. Finally, raise both arms sideways to shoulder height and draw circles in the air with your hands, both forward and backward. Make small circles at first and gradually make them larger. Perform 10 repetitions of each exercise in the series.

Deltoids and Rotator Cuff Exercises

The American Council on Exercise recommends this exercise for the deltoids -- the most prominent shoulder muscles -- and the rotator cuff muscles. Kneel on your knees and lean forward, placing your hands on the floor directly below your shoulders with your fingers directed forward. Move your left hand forward 6 to 12 inches and then turn both arms so your fingers point inward. Hold for five to 10 seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise with your right hand forward. Perform the exercise from a push-up position, with your knees off the floor, to make it more challenging.

One-Arm Reverse Fly

The one-arm reverse fly strengthens the middle and posterior, or back, portions of the deltoid muscles. Stand upright with your feet about hip-width apart and arms at your sides. Hold a light dumbbell in each hand. Step forward about 2 feet with your left foot and flex your left knee until your thigh forms a 45-degree angle to the floor. Bend forward slightly and place your left hand on your knee. Hang your right arm directly below your shoulder with your palm facing inward. Lift your right arm sideways, away from your body, to shoulder height and slowly let it back down. Perform 12 repetitions, then switch sides.

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