The Best Workout For Shoulder Pain – Level 1

The shoulder is one of the most complex joints in the body. This also makes shoulder pain one of the more difficult areas to treat. Majority of shoulder pain can be traced back to repetitive use injuries caused by movement and strength imbalances. The best workouts for shoulder pain are focused on improving movement and building strength to solve shoulder pain without the use of pills, injections, or surgery. 

Warm Up

Our Level 1 warm up focuses on improving mobility, balance and movement of the shoulder joint. Grab a timer and perform each movement for 1 minute (each side if applicable).

Foam Roll Extensions

Mid back movement is directly linked to shoulder movement. Foam roll extensions help to improve mid back mobility for better shoulder movement.

Bi-Phasic Pec Stretching

Tightness in the pec muscles is a common contributor to shoulder pain. Stretching your pec muscles help restory balance to take pressure off the shoulder.

Passive Shoulder ROM

Shoulder pain is often accompanied by a loss of shoulder movement. When that’s the case, the first goal needs to be to improve shoulder range of motion. Progress to Shoulder Pass Throughsif there’s no loss of range of motion.

Shoulder Strengthening Exercises

The initial strengthening exercises in this workout for shoulder pain are more mentally challenging than physically. They are designed to bring awareness back to our shoulder muscles, regain control of movement, and build baseline strength.

Use your timer and perform each exercise for 1 minute. Performing slow and maintaining control is more important than number of reps.

Shoulder Depressions

Engage the fibers of your lower trapezius muscle with Shoulder Depressions. Regaining control of these important shoulder stabilizers is any important first step in improving shoulder movement to solve shoulder pain.

Scapula Circles

The shoulder joint is part of a larger shoulder complex that include the shoulder blade. Regaining control of your shoulder blade is an important part of solving shoulder pain.

Banded Rows

Building back muscles is a primary component of the best workout for shoulder pain. The Banded Row is an safe and effective entry point into shoulder strengthening.

Bottom’s Up Kettlebell Hold

Keeping the shoulder joint centered in the glenoid fossa is also important to take pressure off the ligaments and tendons of the shoulder.

Full Body Movement Patterning

Improving movement patterns (how we move) limits impact on your joints as you move through the day. While not directly related to the shoulder, the foundational movement patterns used in the best workout for shoulder pain help limit impact on your joints for less overall pain. Use your timer and perform each exercise for 1 minute. Perform slowly and maintain control while performing these movements.

The Hip Hinge

The Hip Hinge exercise shifts emphasis to your posterior chain of muscles. This can be useful in preventing the forward rounding of our shoulders that leads to shoulder pain.


Improving postural strength is another important componenet of any workout for shoulder pain. The birddog is a safe and effective way to build core and posture strength.

Knee Plank

Core strength is also directly related to shoulder movement. The Knee Plank is a save and effective way to begin our core strengthing.

From rotator cuff injuries, to tendonitis, to complete tears I have used these best workouts for shoulder pain to help 100’s of adults solve chronic shoulder pain and keep active. For more information about shoulder pain be sure to download our free guide below.

Follow Along With Dr. Baird As He Guides You Through Our Level 1 Workout For Shoulder Pain

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