Pain is often from overuse of one muscle group or another. Balancing the muscle groups may help to relieve some if not all of the pain, depending on the groups upon which you most often put wear and tear.
The American Council on Exercise and the University of Wisconsion-LaCross’s Clinical Exercise Physiology Department have stated the best three shoulder exercises to target primary muscles of the deltoid for optimum muscle balance are the dumbbell shoulder press for the front, 45-degree incline rows or bent arm lateral raises for the mid, and seated rear lateral raises or 45-degree incline rows for the posterior deltoid and the back.
“Your shoulder is a complex ball-and-socket joint that’s used for extension, rotation, flexion, and more. It’s composed of three different muscles, the anterior, medial, and posterior deltoids, which make all those complex shoulder movements possible….By building strong shoulder muscles, however, you can help to prevent common shoulder injuries and keep your shoulders functioning optimally throughout your lifetime.”
Tone your shoulders at the gym or on the move.
If you do not have access to a gym or barbell there are other ways. For toning the shoulders it is possible to combine resistance bands, dumbbells, and body weight movement to activate and shape the full shoulder and upper body area, as well as lower body.
A few good resistance /weight options include:
Chest Expansions with Resistance Bands
One Arm Rows
Lateral Raises/Shoulder Abduction
Planks are another fantastic shoulder exercise when aligned correctly. You want to maintain the structure and natural curvature of your spine while aligning the shoulders in front of, directly over, or slightly behind the palms to activate and strengthen specific muscle groups. Often when teaching yoga on a mat I find the shoulders consistently behind the heel of the hand and palms. When working in plank with your feet slung in the Harrison Hammock you quickly find the structure and where your strengths are in each alignment, as well as where your challenges might be to train and balance.
Plank works so much more of the body than isolating the shoulders. You also target the upper and lower back, abdominals, trapezius and neck, bicepts, tricepts, glutes, thighs, and calves.
As I have spoken of many times, finding the useful, oppositional length in this pose throughout individual muscle groups, limbs, or areas of the body can elevate your workout. Aligning your spine, pulling the lower abdominals to the inside of the spine and activating the glutes and legs maintains the central body structure to then build upon. You can also work in the plank over the forearms rather than palms to the floor and gain precision in your alignment before rising to the high plank with palms to the floor and straighter arms. This is a good starting point to work intelligently.
Beginning with lighter weights allows the body to align well and provide structure to build upon. Gradually adding more weight to your exercises will increase the muscle strength over time. Adjust the number of reps and try different combinations to discover what directional exercises you personally need to add in for balance. Generally it will bee the exercises that feel more difficult…
Sit down as little as possible, stretch afterward, find the extension as well as the flexion both in muscles and muscle groups (back-body/front-body). Core exercises, strength training and intervals will assist and expand the scope of your workouts. Find what works for you. This may change over time.