When I go to the gym, my shoulders aren’t one area I tend to spend a lot of time working. I usually focus on doing cardio, abs and weights for my bigger muscle groups like legs, biceps triceps, forearms and back. I occasionally get in some shoulder exercises, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized how weak my shoulders really are.
A few months ago, I got back into playing volleyball. I’d been on a long hiatus from the sport and decided to jump back in. After a few weeks, I worked out all the kinks that come from being away from a sport. I’m currently playing twice per week for an average of two to three hours per session. It’s a great way to stay in shape – I would much rather be playing a sport than on a treadmill or lifting. The only downside is the shoulder pain I started experiencing from repeatedly serving and hitting the ball. No matter how many stretches and warm-up exercises I did before playing, by the end of the night—and often times before I was done playing—my shoulder would be in pain.
So I decided I need to focus more attention on strengthening my shoulders so that I wouldn’t continually put myself at risk for injury and have to quit playing volleyball. And when you think about it, strong shoulders are important for everyday activities like household chores and carrying groceries.
Your shoulders are one of those areas of the body you don’t really think about until injury strikes. I’m happy to say that my shoulder has been feeling MUCH better, and it’s all thanks to sticking to a solid shoulder routine. Check out the videos if you want to learn how to do any of the moves.
Weights at the gym (no more than twice per week):
- Military/shoulder press with free weights (two 10- to- 12-pound weights)
- Lateral raise with free weights (two 5- to 8-pound weights)
- Front raise with free weights (two 5- to 8-pound weights)
- Cuff internal and external rotation on cable system (two 10 pound weights)
- Shrugs with free weights (two 15- to 20-pound weights)
Resistance band with medium tension at home (daily):
- Front raise
- Lateral raise
- Upright row
- Forward roll
- Backward roll (I do this one standing up instead.)
- Cuff external rotation
- Cuff internal rotation
Much more could be added to this list, but these are the ones I’ve incorporated into my routine for now. I’m sure as my shoulders get stronger, I’ll either bump up the weight or resistance slightly or try out some new exercises.
Have you ever had to build a workout routine to help yourself recover from an injury?