How to Tighten Shoulder Ligaments

Proper exercises can tighten shoulder ligaments after an injury.
Proper exercises can tighten shoulder ligaments after an injury. (Image: Stärke image by imagenation from

Shoulder ligaments are small bundles of fibers that connect the bones at the shoulder joint to allow free movement of the arm and shoulder. The glenohumeral joint, which attaches the arm to the shoulder, is the most common area of ligament damage, which occurs from injuries such as sprains, strains, dislocations and separations. Tightening the shoulder ligaments after an injury is important to restore full, pain-free movement of the shoulder and to prevent further injury.

Things You'll Need

  • Elastic exercise band
  • Small hand weight

Perform pendulum exercises: Bend at the waist so the arm hangs freely. Slowly swing the arm toward the head and back toward the body. Repeat several times.

Maintaining the posture, slowly swing the arm from left to right. Repeat several times.

Make arm circles from the left then from the right. Repeat several times.

To increase difficulty, add a small 1- or 2-pound hand weight.

Perform isometric exercises. Position the body sideways so the affected arm is straight and resting on a wall. Push the arm away from the body against the wall and hold for 5 seconds for several repetitions. Bend the elbow, rest the outside of the forearm on the wall and push.

Position body with back to wall, arm resting on wall. Extend the arm by pushing arm backwards against the wall for 5 seconds.

Repeat pushing arm against the wall facing forward with arm flexing or pushing out in front of you.

Position body in doorway with elbow bent and inside forearm resting on the wall. Internally rotate by push forearm into wall. Perform external rotation by pushing outside of the forearm against the wall.

Tie an elastic exercise band to a door handle. Face away from the band and pull it forward to shoulder height. Repeat 10 times.

Face the band and pull it behind you as far as you can. Repeat 10 times.

Face sideways with the band on the affected side. Pull the band across the body, waist high, then pull the band across the body and up to the shoulder. Bend the elbow and move the hand toward the opposite shoulder. Repeat 10 times.

Face sideways with the band on the opposite side. Pull it away from the body, waist high. Repeat the movement out and up toward the shoulder. Bend the elbow and move the hand away from the body. Repeat all movements 10 times.

Perform a modified push-up. Stand an arm's distance from the wall with both hands on the wall. Bend the elbows and lean the body to the wall. Repeat 10 times.

Tips & Warnings

  • Pendulum exercises can begin early after an injury to help maintain the shoulder's range of motion in all the joints including the acromioclavicular joint, where the top portion of the scapula or shoulder blade connects with the clavicle, and the glenohumeral joint, the ball and socket joint that connects the shoulder blade with the humerus or upper arm bone.
  • Strengthening exercises shouldn't begin until the inflammation and pain have subsided, which takes several days.
  • For advanced strengthening of the shoulder, consult a physical therapist.
  • If any exercise causes severe pain, stop immediately to prevent further injury.
  • If pain or limitations continue, seek medical advice.

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