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  • Writer's pictureEmma Carpenter

Exercises for Shoulder pain: How to rehab after shoulder surgery?

Shoulder rehab:- 5 exercises that help build back mobility and strength after shoulder surgery.


January 2019 I had my shoulder reconstructed after ripping, tearing all the ligaments and tendons in my shoulder. How did it happen? Well that will have to be another blog haha!

I had to start back from the beginning I couldn‘t even put my underwear on or wash my own hair. It set my mental health back as I couldn’t do any exercise for 3 months. (The picture below was 6 months before my shoulder became unbearable and i had 25 degree movement in total).


The first step to my rehab was Hydrotherapy, every other day I was down at David llyods pool walking up and down that bloody pool using only breast stroke arms. I wasn’t allowed to even lift my legs off the ground due to not being able to weight bare (even in a pool). I then got the best news where I could start doing proper breast stroke! Life had other plans, covid and lockdown happened. So I had to use my knowledge of exercise to start rehabbing my shoulder at home on my own as I couldn’t go see the physiotherapist either. So I am going to give you the 5 exercises that helped get mobility and strength back in my shoulder to then be able to get back into that gym.





Exercise #1 - Internal rotation

Complete 8 reps on each arm and as you build your mobility and strength work up towards 3 sets of 12 reps. Attach a resistant band to a door handle and stand with the arm you are using first closest to the door. Start with the arm you have the pain or surgery in.




Exercise #2 - External rotation



Complete 8 reps on each arm and as you build your mobility and strength work up towards 3 sets of 12 reps.

Attach a resistant band to a door handle and stand with the arm you are using furthest away to the door. Start with the arm you have the pain or surgery in.



Exercise #3 - High rows

Complete 8 reps on each arm and as you build your mobility and strength work up towards 3 sets of 12 reps. Attach resistant band to door handle and face the door. Start with the arm you have the pain or surgery in. When your mobility will get better you will be able to row to the side of your ear. Go as high as your bad arm allows you to where you feel it but have no pain. On your good arm go to the same height as you did on your bad arm as we don’t want it compensating for your bad shoulder.


Exercise #4 - Low rows


Complete 8 reps on each arm and as you build your mobility and strength work up towards 3 sets of 12 reps. Attach resistant band to door handle and face door. Start with the arm you have the pain or surgery in. When your mobility will get better you will be able to row to the side of your stomach, you need to try and retract that shoulder and squeeze those shoulder blades together.Go as far as your bad arm allows you to where you feel it but have no pain. On your good arm go to the same distance as you did on your bad arm as we don’t want it compensating for your bad shoulder.


Exercise #5 - Front raises

Attach resistant band to door handle and face away from the door. Starting with your weaker shoulder raise your arm upwards. Eventually when your mobility and strength will return you will be able to raise your arm to shoulder height. Complete 8 reps building up to that 3 sets of 12 reps on each arm. Remember to always start with your weaker side.




If you have shoulder pain or have had shoulder surgery I can guarantee these exercises work. As I got told I would only have a maximum of 75% movement back in that shoulder. My shoulder is now 95% back to normal due to the rehab I used. You can get resistant bands cheap on Amazon and the internet or even just a bit of rubber will help too. Comment below on your experience of shoulder pain and your rehab? Remember though ‘‘Let’s Keep it Real”


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