3 Great Shoulder Strengtheners

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What to know

If you play golf or tennis, swim, or do a lot of lifting or overhead activities, it’s a good idea to do some shoulder conditioning. These exercises can help prevent shoulder pain, as well as promote healing if you do get injured.

Shoulder strengthener

Lie on your side, supporting your head. Holding a light weight (5 pounds or less), bend your arm at a 90-degree angle and position your forearm parallel to the floor. Keeping your elbow against your side, raise the weight, as shown, then lower it forward. Repeat 10 times. Then switch sides.

Arm exercise

Lie on a table or bed, with one arm hanging down. Hold a light weight, and with the palm facing outward, raise the arm straight back. Hold for 2 seconds, then lower slowly and repeat 10 times. Then switch sides. Or you can rotate your hand inward and lift the weight forward, parallel to the floor; hold, lower, and repeat.

Shoulder stretch

Grasp a towel behind your back with one arm behind you and the other arm raised over your shoulder. Pull the towel with the upper hand, but not to the point of discomfort. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat several times and then switch arms.

How often to do them

Ideally, you should aim to do these exercises three times per week. Knowing how to recognize—and prevent—shoulder problems can help keep these hardworking joints in action.