The ball-and-socket shoulder joint of the body provides the greatest amount of range of motion but the least amount of stability; that is why it is an easily injured joint. The rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder keep the head of the ball in the socket and are crucial strengthening muscles. Likewise, muscles in this area are also important for our posture, along with our neck muscles. Interestingly, if you hold one pound in your hand at your waist, then raise straight out in front, it will feel like 10 pounds, which is why strengthening and stability are important aspects of keeping the shoulder happy and healthy. However, all this is not possible without good range of motion in the shoulder. Think about daily tasks that would be difficult without proper movement ability: putting on your seatbelt, reaching overhead, and washing your back. Let’s not take any of these for granted and keep our shoulders in proper working order.
When working out one needs to remember to strengthen above, below, and around the area(s) involved for optimal performance. Strengthening the same area should not be performed on two subsequent days and at least one day’s rest in between is necessary to allow the muscle to break down and build back up to become stronger. This philosophy does not apply to stretches; those may be performed daily. The stretches and strengthening exercises provided here are general guidelines for overall health and should not cause pain. If you experience any pain besides some increased workout type soreness, stop. And, please consult with a healthcare professional.