How To ELIMINATE Shoulder Pain – Shoulder Impingement Exercises

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6 of the best physical therapy exercises to eliminate shoulder pain. Shoulder impingement is one of the most-common causes of shoulder pain that I encounter in my physical therapy clinic. These are some of the most effective stretches and rotator cuff exercises to stop shoulder pain and help you to feel better. |KEEP READING FOR MORE LINKS!|








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The most-common cause of shoulder pain that I treat in my physical therapy clinic is a condition known as “impingement”.

Your shoulder is a ball and socket joint. That “ball” should stay firmly seated in that “socket” during shoulder motions, especially overhead. If the head of the humerus (the ball) does not stay seated properly in the glenoid cavity (the socket) during motion it can “pinch” on the tendon and other structures up on the top of your shoulder.

Over time, this can lead to pain, inflammation, and even a rotator cuff tear. It’s important that you address the cause of this pain quickly to avoid exacerbating the injury.

The primary causes of shoulder impingement include poor posture, muscle weakness, joint tightness, and muscle imbalance. The most effective way to cure this impingement syndrome is to perform exercises that address these deficits.

Posture is probably the number one cause of shoulder impingement. To demonstrate why this is an issue I want you to stand up and slump forward (exaggerate poor posture). Now try to reach your hands all the way over your head. You won’t be able to do it! You’ll get to about 160 degrees of motion and run into a block.

That’s the impingement I’m talking about. You’re pinching those structures under the roof of your socket and it’s not allowing you to go any further.

Now stand with great posture. Tuck your shoulder blades down and back and make sure your head is squarely over your shoulders. Now reach both arms up in over your head. You should find that you are able to reach a lot higher with a lot less pain.

In order to achieve full overhead motion, your shoulder blade needs to upwardly rotate. This will enable you to achieve those last 20° of motion without pain.

The second primary cause of shoulder impingement that I see in my clinic is rotator cuff weakness. You have 4 muscles that make up the “rotator cuff”. The primary function of the rotator cuff is to keep the head of the humerus (ball) seated squarely in the middle socket of the shoulder.

Oftentimes muscle imbalance and shoulder/rotator cuff weakness can cause the head of the humerus to move towards the front of the shoulder. During overhead motions, there’s less room under the “roof” in the front of the shoulder than there is in the middle of the shoulder. This can cause shoulder pain and impingement during overhead motions.


The best things you can do to eliminate shoulder impingement are to stretch the tight structures in the front of the shoulder and chest while strengthening the rotator cuff muscles in the back. This will promote a better anatomical position for the shoulder joint and enable you to move through these overhead motions with decreased pain and less “pinching” symptoms.

The stretches and exercises that I recommend to patients experiencing this type of shoulder pain include:

1. Doorway Stretches (Low, Middle, and High): great stretch for the front of the chest and shoulders. I like the low position for the pull through the biceps tendon and I like the high position for the additional rotation component.

2. Foam Roller: lay on a 36” foam roller to stretch your chest and shoulders out. If you need to get one you can do so at this link:

3. Scapula Pinches: One of my favorite exercises to correct poor posture and help put your shoulder blades back in the correct position for function.

4. YTA: Easy shoulder and rotator cuff exercises you can do at home with zero equipment required.

5. Resisted External/Internal Rotation: My personal go-to exercises for rotator cuff strengthening. Remember while internal rotation will be strong, functionally speaking external rotation will be more important.


Tone and Tighten says:

Do you experience shoulder pain? Try out these exercises and let us know how they helped you in a comment below! Thanks so much for watching!

G L says:

Thank you again, after your video on lower back pain helped me came back for a lingering shoulder pain, the doorway stretches and the in/out arm/shoulder exercises worked, felt relief after one session!


Exactly ..the pain came like to kill me everyday i..thank you so much for the video..

Lloyd Maliakal says:

Going to give this a go at my gym today. Thanks mate for vid 😉

DNAJG says:

Thanks man so much

Izmael O says:

Can this cause some pains down in hand on that shoulder side ?

Izmael O says:

I think I have this I have poping near rotator cuff . I was working out I was doing dips and push ups when I was doing dips I think I hurt my shoulder because I was doing them on my couch hand rest so I didn't give my self alot of space and when I went to do push ups I moved my head to the side and felt pain in my shoulder right away like a pinched nerve or something . Ever since that happened I've been dealing with pain in my hand not sure if it's all connected since I do do alot of overuse at work . Will these exercises help

Lucas Myint says:

Thank you very much. I like n need to do your exercises.

Abe Lewin says:

I am suffering from this problem more then one year. You are going to be a big help for me.

Jake TFour says:

Great Video, I would also recommend do passive hanging. It also stretches parts of the acrmion as well.

Alnaz Kanji says:

Thankyou I have very pain in myshoulder

mohamad varnasseri says:

you are knowledgeable doctor thank you .

Babes Lysab says:

Thank you so much for sharing this exercise for shoulder pain.
But I'm a 66yr-old woman, so can I still do the same exercise?

Emelia Jade says:

I have supraspinatus tendinosis and shoulder impingement. For the doorway stretch, I can do it low fine, but if I go any higher my arm physically can't rotate back. How do I loosen it so it can stretch and rotate?

Yackable Johnson says:

I tried to watch this video for some tips, but I couldn't get over the bulge popping out of his khaki pants. Dude, go work for Target or at least change your pants. And in the future don't film that part of yourself it its popping out. Nobody wants to see that.

Grace Yim says:

Thank you so much.😊

Vanessa V says:

These stretches are not helping my shoulder pain is making it worse

liaqat hayat says:

Its amazing sir

Ernie Delgado says:

Thank you! I needed this. Exercises feel comfortable and make a lot of sense.

Xor Doom says:

Thank you so much… I've been going to different PT's (Doctor Referrals, Athletico..etc…) and out of pocket its been close to a Thousand bucks to literally do all of the exercises you just demonstrated! Thank you for sharing these as you had a couple that the PT's didn't have me do…Now I can stop paying them and watch your video if I forget any of the moves… Thank you!!

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