The Secret to Pain-Free Shoulders in 90 Seconds
If you’ve ever experienced shoulder pain or limited range of motion in your shoulders, you’re not alone. As we age, our rotator cuff muscles tend to weaken, leading to aches, pains, and restricted movement. But thankfully, there’s a quick and easy exercise you can do in just 90 seconds a day to bulletproof your shoulders.
As fitness expert Jeremy Ethier explains, “If you can't lift your arm overhead, and if you can't externally rotate, you're limited in your range of motion, or you have aches and pains.” The rotator cuff is a group of four small muscles inside the shoulder that externally and internally rotate the shoulders. For most people, the internal rotators are tight, while the external rotators are weak. This imbalance leads to shoulder impingement and pain.
But strengthening the rotator cuff is as simple as doing one exercise. Here’s how to do it:
“Bring your body to the edge of a chair. Have nice tall posture from the tailbone to the top of the head,” says Ethier. Extend your arms out to the sides, parallel to the ground. Make sure your elbows are not pointed down or angled up too high. Thumbs should point toward the ceiling.
“From there, what you're gonna try to do is rotate your thumbs backwards like this without shrugging your shoulders or pushing your neck forward,” he explains. Externally rotate as far as you can without compensation. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then come back to the start position. Repeat for 30-90 seconds.
It’s critical to keep the rest of the body still as you rotate. “The elbows stay in one place, shoulders stay in one place. And if we do this properly, our head stays in one place too,” says Ethier. Don’t let your shoulders shrug up or your head jut forward.
You should feel the muscles between your shoulder blades activate as you rotate back. Concentrate on squeezing those muscles as you hold the end range. Do 2-3 sets per day to build rotator cuff strength.
After a few weeks of this exercise, Ethier says, “Let us know how your shoulders feel in the comments below. This is gonna make a huge difference on how your shoulders feel, your overall posture as you grow older, so you can have freedom of movement through your daily life in a way that feels good to your body.”
So if shoulder pain or immobility is limiting your ability to lift overhead or perform daily activities, try this 90 second rotator cuff exercise. In just a few weeks, you’ll likely notice better posture, increased range of motion, and pain-free shoulders. Your rotator cuffs will be bulletproofed in no time!