Exercises to Stabilize the Shoulder

Exercises to Stabilize the Shoulder

An Exercise Progression to Help STABILIZE the Shoulder 

If you spend enough time coaching functional fitness you are bound to come across a client with shoulder issues. This injury is commonly caused by too much overhead pressing with poor form and without prerequisite shoulder stability.

This injury is frustrating for both the client and the coach. It tends to limit movement ability and slow or even halt progression. 

It’s extremely valuable to understand what causes these shoulder injuries and a progression you can use to help stabilize a client’s weak shoulder. Here are two common causes of shoulder injuries and a progression you can use to stabilize the shoulder.

Two Common Causes of Shoulder Injuries

There are two common causes of shoulder injuries: dislocation and repetitive strain. 

The first, dislocation, occurs when the humerus is pulled out of its socket. A client can dislocate their shoulder in many ways, but all dislocations will lead to loosened shoulder tendons that cause shoulder instability. 

The second, repetitive strain, is a common injury for functional fitness clients. This injury can be caused by an excessive volume of overhead pressing or pressing an excessively heavy load without proper form. While training can cause this injury, it can also rebuild it. 

Before you begin working with a client that has an injury, it is crucial that you assess their capabilities and refer them out to a specialist if required. That’s why we teach coaches to assess each client before designing a training program. Sign up for this free course and learn our method of assessing clients.

Exercise Progression to Help Stabilize the Shoulder

Progressing shoulder stability is like any exercise progression. Start simple and controlled and slowly build towards complex and dynamic.

Start shoulder stability progression in the most stable position and build to the least stable position. The most stable position is the supine position. Then move to the sitting position, then to the prone position, and finish in the standing position.

The goal of each position is to teach the client how to control their shoulder under load. The progressive positions add instability over time. The client is only ready to progress to the next position once they can demonstrate motor control in each position. 

Sample Shoulder Stability Progression:

  1. Supine Position
  2. Sitting Position
  3. Prone Position
  4. Standing Position

For the Best Results Individualize

It’s valuable to understand different exercise progressions and their uses. But the most valuable skill set a coach can have is the ability to individualize their service. 

Every client’s abilities, needs, and goals are different. Their training programs should be as well. That’s why we teach coaches to assess their client’s abilities and consult with them on their goals, before writing any training program. Sign up for our free coaching course today and learn the most valuable skill set a coach can have—the ability to individualize their training programs.


Fitness Assessments for New Clients