Focus Physical Therapy

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Vital Motion Shoulder Exercises

Postero-Lateral Shoulder Stretch

In sitting or standing, bend the elbow of the stiff or sore side and reach upwards slowly, then bring your hand to your upper back.

NB keep the chin tuck in and the chest up, you may start to feel a stretch with some mild discomfort behind the shoulder and upper arm.

Increase the stretch, if manageable, by placing the palm of the other hand on the tip of the elbow and gently pressing downwards towards the floor.

Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times, bringing your arm back to your side between each repetition.

NB: Stop the exercise if it aggravates your pain symptoms.

Door Pec Stretch Lower

Stand in a doorway of standard width. Place forearms against door frame, with elbows oriented slightly BELOW shoulders. Step forward with one leg, shifting body weight forward through doorway until moderate stretch is felt in the front of the shoulders.

Doorway Pec Stretch

Stand up tall next to a doorway. Place your hand on the edge with your elbow bent at 90 degrees. Step forward with your inside foot and keep your head up looking forward.

Foam Roller Pec Stretch

Lay on your back with the foam roller vertical along your spine with the head supported.

Place arms out to the sides to make a “T” with palms facing up.

Hold this position to allow for a stretch

Pectoral Stretch With Foam Roller

Stabillize spine with foam roller.

Bring bilateral UE’s up, forming a goalpost.

RIGHT Shoulder Sleeper Stretch

RIGHT Side Lying with body perpendicular to the floor/table

RIGHT elbow positioned directly out from RIGHT shoulder

Keep RIGHT elbow in place while rotating the RIGHT hand downward -Hold stretch when you first feel a pull in the shoulder.

Shoulder Internal Rotation PAIL's & RAIL's

Place side of shoulder and elbow up against the wall at desired angle.

Push your hand down into an internal rotation stretch. Hold for desired time ensuring you’re not compensating or moving.

PAIL’s (top picture) = push up into back of hand & hold for desired time. Don’t allow any movement to occur.

RAIL’s (bottom picture) = engage muscles to hold this position as you slowly take your hand off. Be sure your scapula is retracted & rest of body is stable, attempt to keep arm in same position/angle. Hold for desired time, then repeat.


Lying face down with your arms stretched out upwards as shown, slowly move your arms upward towards the ceiling as you squeeze your shoulder blades downward and towards your spine.

PRONE T - Bilateral - Thumbs Up

Lie face down with your elbow straight and arms out to the side. Next, set your scapula by retracting it towards your spine and downward towards your feet. Then, slowly raise your arms towards the ceiling keeping your elbow straight the entire time as shown.
Your thumbs should be pointed in the upward direction as your arm raises.


Lying face down with your elbows bent and palms facing downward, slowly raise your arms up towards the ceiling as you squeeze your shoulder blades downward and towards your spine.

Shoulder Rolls

Move your shoulders in a circular pattern as shown so that your are moving in an up, back and down direction. Perform small circles if needed for comfort.


Shoulder Burner

This exercise is progressed to different positions (sitting, standing). Place your shoulders at a 90 degree angle (straight to the side). 

Position your thumbs up: make small circles in clockwise direction 1x 10; follow with counter clock circles 1x 10 Thumbs forward: make small circles in clockwise direction 1x 10; follow with counter clock circles 1x 10

ALSO perform with large circles

Shoulder External Rotation With Resistance Band

Start with elbows resting by your side and bent to 90 deg. With enough tension in the band, pull hands apart squeezing your shoulder blades together. Pause then slowly return to starting position. Keep elbows by your side throughout the exercise.