How To Properly Warm Up Your Shoulders To Prevent Injury


We all understand the importance of a warm up before doing any type of exercise. Nevertheless, many of us forget all about our shoulders, a complicated and easy to injure joint. Once you have injured a shoulder, you are likely to sustain another in the future. Keep reading for tips on how to properly warm up your shoulders to prevent injury.

Woman stretching shoulder with arms above her head

Moving And Stretching Simultaneously

The best way to warm up your shoulders is to do dynamic warm ups by moving and stretching at the same time. The goal is to encourage blood flow and circulation to the muscles and lubricate the joint tissues. Move while you stretch, and go through your shoulder’s full range of motion. This helps to prepare your shoulder muscles for exercise.

Some Basic Tips To Begin A Warm Up

To get started, think about moving slowly and not rushing. Begin with smaller movements and then increase the range of motion.

Next, engage your core and practice tightening it. Work on your abdominal muscles as you warm up to stabilize your shoulders and spine to begin exercise.

Continue to increase your range of motion slowly. It helps to increase your heart rate as well.

Some Examples

Increasing strength and flexibility is the best way to keep your shoulders healthy and prevent injury.

Arm Circles

This warm up will get sufficient blood to the area of your shoulder joint, and it is one of the best ways to avoid a rotator cuff injury. Start with your feet shoulder width apart and lift both arms out to the side like a T. Move your arms in small circles for 10-15 seconds clockwise and then counter clockwise. Do this 3 to 4 times. You should feel no pain.

Shoulder Rolls

Shoulder rolls warm up and stretch the muscles, tendons, and joints to reduce pain and stiffness. It loosens and stretches muscles, increases circulation, helps with flexibility, and extends range of motion to prevent injury.

Keep your arms relaxed. Shrug shoulders up towards your ears, then up and back. Repeat circles at least 2-4 times.

In addition, try the following warm up exercises:

  • Shoulder retraction where you pull your shoulder blades together
  • Overhead motion to the front and to the side
  • Small movements that mimic the activity you will be doing

Contact Dr. Camille Clinton at (425) 899-4810 if you feel any shoulder pain while doing these warmups exercises or performing any other movement.

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