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10 Exercises To Instantly Improve Shoulder Pain

If you're looking to both reduce shoulder pain and improve your shoulder strength, this article is for you!

As we age, something happens to our posture. It changes, and unfortunately not for the better.

Our shoulders roll forward and we start to slouch. 

This is due to:

  • Increased stress

  • Increased sitting

  • Decreased movement

  • Decreased flexibility

  • Imbalanced weight training programs (excessive chest and bicep exercises)

This is known as "upper-crossed syndrome" where our chest muscles like our pecs become dominant as they shorten and stiffen. These muscles also attach to your shoulders and pull them forward.

At the same time, certain muscles between your shoulder blades become lengthened and weaken. These muscles need to be strong, as counteract your chest, help pull your shoulders back, and improve your posture.

Not only does that change our appearance but it can have a real impact on our performance, injury risk and pain -- especially at our shoulders.

This shift in posture causes the shoulder joint position to shift forward, putting excessive stress on the important structures in the front of your shoulder. This actually stretches out these structures and your shoulder becomes weaker and less stable. 

This instability in the front of your shoulder due to poor posture is the #1 cause for shoulder pain.

The good news is we can strengthen certain muscles (like the ones between your shoulder blades) to help pull your shoulders back into a safer, stronger position. This is a game-changer when it comes to improving shoulder pain, improving shoulder function, and preventing further injury. 

One of the most powerful ways to do just that is with our favorite shoulder strengthening exercise --- the row.

Ready to get started?

Here are our 10 favorite row exercises to instantly improve shoulder pain.

Row Pro-Tip: Row exercises should be done in a slow, controlled manner. Lead each row by pulling your shoulder blade back toward your spine and pause at the top of each rep. Make sure you feel each row between your shoulder blades and throughout your upper-back. Finally, make sure to complete 2 rowing exercises for every 1 pressing exercise you do in the gym.

1. Inverted Row


2. 1-Arm Dumbbell Row


3. Chest Supported Kettlebell Row


4. Landmine Bent Over Row


5. Seated Cable Row


6. Trap Bar Bent Over Row


7. Kettlebell Gorilla Row


8. Side Plank Row


9. Dumbbell Alternating Plank Row


10. 1-Arm Squat to Row


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