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Brett Sears

DIY Project: Homemade Shoulder Pulleys

By November 25, 2012

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If you are dealing with a frozen shoulder and are attending physical therapy, you are most likely learning strategies and exercises to help increase the range of motion (ROM) of your shoulder. You may be performing specific exercises on shoulder pulleys to help you attain and maintain shoulder ROM.

Using shoulder pulleys in the physical therapy clinic can be helpful for a frozen shoulder, but you also need a self-care strategy to perform daily at home. This can help you keep your shoulder moving between physical therapy sessions so that the gains you make in therapy can be long lasting.

Shoulder pulleys are available in many sporting goods stores, or your physical therapist can help you purchase a set from his or her equipment supplier. (They run about $25-30.) But there is a way to obtain shoulder pulleys for about half the cost: make them yourself.

A fun do-it-yourself project that you can do to at home is to make your own shoulder pulleys. Here are the basic supplies needed:

  • Small pulley (about 1 1/4 inch or so) available at most hardware stores
  • Ten feet of polyester clothesline
  • Scissors

First, cut a small piece of the rope and tie it to the top of your pulley. Tie a knot in the end of this line, as this will serve as a hanger that goes over your door. Then feed about 8-9 feet of line through your pulley. Tie a loop in each end to serve as handles and to prevent the line from slipping out of the pulley. Hang the pulley over your door (make sure it is secure), and you are ready to stretch your shoulder at home.

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