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Shoulder Spur Exercise

author image Mike Samuels
Mike Samuels started writing for his own fitness website and local publications in 2008. He graduated from Peter Symonds College in the UK with A Levels in law, business and sports science, and is a fully qualified personal trainer, sports massage therapist and corrective exercise specialist with accreditations from Premier Global International.
Shoulder Spur Exercise
Shoulder spurs can go undetected until you feel pain or have an X-ray. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

A shoulder spur is a small growth of bone which occurs around the head of the deltoid -- the rounded part of your shoulder -- when the joint has been subjected to stress for a prolonged period of time. The tendons and ligaments in the shoulder all move over each other to help the joint move, which while necessary for shoulder movement, can cause bone spurs, as friction and pressure is applied to the bone. In order to prevent and rehabilitate shoulder spurs, it is vital that you include exercises to strengthen the stabilizing muscles of your shoulder in your workout routine.

External Rotations

Bone spurs can place you at a higher risk of tearing a muscle, but stronger supporting muscles may reduce your risk of developing a bone spur in the first place. Your rotator cuffs are a group of four small muscles, which work together to stabilize and support the shoulder joint and are vital for optimal shoulder health. To perform external rotations for your rotator cuffs, stand to the right of a cable machine and grab the handle in your right hand. Keep your elbow tucked in and turn your hand out, away from your body as far as possible. Do three sets of 15 repetitions.

Side Lying Dumbbell Abductions

Lie on a bench on your side, holding a light dumbbell. With a straight arm, lift the dumbbell up until your arm is at around a 45-degree angle to your body, pause for two seconds, then lower it again. According to corrective exercise specialist Eric Cressey, this exercise effectively hits three of the four rotator cuff muscles and aids in strengthening them. Perform two sets of 10 reps per side.

Inverted Rows

Place a bar in a power rack at around waist height. Sit underneath the bar and grab it with both hands, while walking your feet forward, so that your legs and hips are off the floor. Hold your body tight and pull yourself up toward the bar until your chest is two inches from it, then lower yourself again. Do five sets of five reps. Many people develop poor shoulder mobility, which can lead to bone spurs, due to performing too many chest exercises and not enough upper back exercises. Inverted rows help correct this imbalance.


While these exercises may help prevent or rehabilitate a shoulder spur, you should always visit a medical professional if you feel that you may be suffering from any type of shoulder injury, as it may require further treatment. Even if you aren't suffering from a shoulder spur, then you can still include these exercises in your program, as they are great for improving strength and general shoulder health. Do the exercises twice per week.

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