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Shoulder Pain? Try These 5 Resistance Band Exercises


Resistance bands are a portable training method that can be used to help reduce shoulder pain without the need for dumbbells or extra equipment.

By incorporating these exercises into your traditional resistance training session, you can strengthen your shoulders while simultaneously reducing shoulder pain.

These stretchy bands can be used to perform almost any exercise you would perform with a traditional dumbbell.

Not only are resistance bands great for strengthening your muscles, but they are also beneficial for prehab, helping you avoid injury in the first place.

Prehab is (preventative) resistance band training that can strengthen vulnerable areas throughout the body.

Using resistance bands for shoulder exercises can improve functional fitness all while decreasing shoulder pain in those areas that are injury prone.

As you dynamically warm up with resistance bands you are also getting a prehab benefit.

Resistance Band Shoulder Exercise #1: 1-Hand External Rotation

Resistance Band Exercise #1: 1-Hand External Rotation
The 1-Hand External Rotation is a great way to target the small muscles of the shoulder that make up the rotator cuff. Rotator cuff muscles are important in shoulder stability, especially if your are experiencing shoulder pain from former injuries, such as dislocations and impingement syndromes.

Resistance Band Shoulder Exercise #2: 1-Hand Internal Rotation

Resistance Band Exercise #2: 1-Hand Internal Rotation
The Internal (Medial) Shoulder Rotation exercise strengthens the rotator cuff muscles which stabilize the shoulder joint. This exercise targets the subscapularis muscle which is a very important muscle of the rotator cuff.

The rotator cuff muscles help to provide stability for the shoulder joint, increasing strength that will help reduce shoulder pain.

Resistance Band Shoulder Exercise #3: Underhand Pull Aparts

Underhand Pull Aparts

This is an excellent exercise that can be done at home for extra upper back work. This simple exercise works on scapular retraction (pulling the shoulder blades together) and reinforces good upper back posture.

Increasing strength in the upper scaps and other stabilizing back muscles can reduce shoulder pain significantly.

Resistance Band Shoulder Exercise #4: Lateral Raise

Resistance Band Lateral Raise
The Resistance Band Lateral Raise is an excellent movement for developing the middle head of the deltoid. Strengthening the deltoid muscle will increase the stability of your entire rotator cuff, decreasing the risk of pain.

Resistance Band Shoulder Exercise #5: Lying External Rotation

Lying External Rotation
The Lying External Shoulder Rotation promotes scapular movement and stability and reduces the risk of shoulder injuries.


Cameron Josse is the Director of Sports Performance at DeFranco’s Gym. He has worked with DeFranco’s Gym owner Joe DeFranco since he was 17 years old. As a former athlete in DeFranco’s training programs, Cameron was exposed to Joe’s unique approach to developing all the tools needed to succeed in athletics, eventually landing him on staff at DeFranco’s Gym. Cameron has worked with a wide variety of athletes, from youth all the way up to professional. He uses his experience as a former high school and collegiate athlete to enable him to connect with the athletes he deals with on a daily basis. Coupling all of the core principles of DeFranco’s Gym in addition to the unconventional training methods found at Onnit, Cameron aims to create fully optimized athletes that dominate on the field of play.
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