This video demonstrates how to perform shoulder abduction to 90 degrees against resistance and reviews some common compensatory patterns. Resisted shoulder flexion is a very common exercise, but if your shoulder has been injured then you may only perform this exercise within certain ranges of motion. It is also very common to compensate when performing this exercise, especially if the weight is too high and you have a shoulder injury.
What you should feel
You will be raising your arm out to your side or (mostly) to your side and slight out in front of you, while pushing against a resistance band. This exercise should cause muscle fatigue / give you a workout by the time you have finished it. Pain is usually not recommended, but in some cases I may recommend pushing into very mild pain (ie. no more than 3/10) but this totally depends on your specific situation.
Stop this exercise if you are unsure about what you are feeling or if it is painful in an unexpected way.
Resisted Shoulder Abduction
Here are the instructions and there is a video below that explains it all:
- Stand on a resistance band with the foot on the same side as the arm you will be using.
- Keep your arm rested at your side.
- In some cases, I might recommend a different starting position (I would have told you in your specific instructions and in the clinic).
- Holding the other end of the band in the arm you are going to use for the exercise.
- Make sure you have some tension in the band at the start position. You don’t need a lot… but there should not be any slack in the band.
- Keep your thumb pointed up during the exercise.
- Elevate your arm either A) directly out to your side, or B) mostly out to your side, but at a 30 degree angle out in front of you (I would have specified in the clinic).
- Go to the specified height and do not go above shoulder height.
- Go up slowly, counting to 3. Then down slowly, counting to 3. Sometimes I will recommend different parameters, including a pause at the top.
*It is important to keep your thumb pointed up, as this will keep the shoulder joint in a position that will produce less compression of your tendons. This is particularly important if you have subacromial impingement and rotator cuff dysfunction.
**Sometimes I will recommend starting from a different position other than neutral.
mdkPHYSIO provides specific parameters to all patients. Please review your instructions prior to performing this exercise.