Building a strong core is one of the best things you can do to treat and prevent joint pain. But some of the best exercises to safely build core strength can place a lot of impact on your shoulder (planks, side planks, high planks, etc). This can cause issues if you’re dealing with a shoulder injury. In this article we’ll look at how to strengthen your core when dealing with shoulder pain.
How To Strengthen Your Core When Dealing With Shoulder Pain
When recovering from shoulder injuries it’s important to give tissues time to heal. It’s unrealistic to expect the shoulder to heal if you keep aggravating the injury. But that doesn’t mean we should stop our strength routine all together. We simply need to find ways to strengthen the core without irritating the shoulder. The following are three ways we can strengthen the core when you’re dealing with a shoulder injury.
Exercises like the side plank place a lot of stress on the shoulder and can lead to shoulder pain.
Pick Core Exercises Performed On Your Back
Supine (on our back) exercises are an easy way to strengthen your core when planks, sit ups and curls are out of the question. They allow us to engage our abs without putting any force through the shoulder joint. Just like the plank, they can be regressed and progressed based on an individuals ability level. The following are three such exercises from easiest to hardest.
When talking about solving pain and protecting joints, core coordination is just as important as core strength. Ensuring that our core musculature ‘fires’ in the right pattern and when we need them to is how we avoid injury with the seemingly mundane activities (pulling up your pants, reaching for something, etc). One of the ways we can improve core coordination is through rolling/rotational patterns which can be done without putting stress on the shoulders. Here are three examples I use in the clinic.
Strengthen Other Aspects of the Core
Your core doesn’t only consist of your ‘abs’. While definitions can vary, your core muscles includes any muscle that connects to your pelvis. Which is why glute, postural, and movement patterning are all important aspects of creating a strong core and can be emphasized when dealing with a shoulder injury.
Pain and injury doesn’t mean we have to stop strength training all together. We just need to get creative. I hope this article taught you how to strengthen your core when dealing with shoulder pain. Give these a try and let me know what you think in the comments below.
For the last 10 years I’ve been helping adults build the strength and confidence to live active, healthy, and happy lives. My free program ‘Solving Pain With Strength’ gives you a step-by-step, approachable way to build strength without stressing your joints. Download it below and get started feeling better today!