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Shoulder Stabilization Exercises


Updated February 28, 2013

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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The Prone "I" Scapular Stabilization Exercise
THe prone

Lie face down and slowly raise your arm up towards the side of your ear.

Brett Sears, PT, 2011

Start the prone "I" in the same position as all the other scapular stabilization exercises. Simply lie on your belly with your arm hanging straight down. Keep your elbow straight and raise your arm up overhead. Your shoulder blade should slowly pinch back as you do this and your arm should be next to your ear at the uppermost position.

Hold the top position for one to two seconds, and then slowly return your arm to the starting position. Repeat this exercise 8 to 15 repetitions.

When you are able to perform these exercises easily, you can make them more challenging by holding a small dumbbell in your hand. If you don't have a dumbbell, hold a can of soup or bottle of water. Just remember to start with a light weight. One or two pounds should do.

Shoulder pain and dysfunction are common problems that your physical therapist can help you manage. Scapular stabilization exercises are a great way to regain normal control and use of your arm after a shoulder injury or surgery. These exercises can be performed a few times per week to maintain appropriate strength and postural control of your shoulder to help prevent future problems.

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