4 Effective Shoulder Impingement Exercises

Shoulder impingement could indeed trouble your daily activities and obstruct you in many ways.

So, to get out of the trap of shoulder impingement and to prevent any repercussions related to it, you need to try out shoulder impingement exercises.

4 Effective Shoulder Impingement Exercises

To treat and recover from shoulder impingement, you need to try out exercises that will work for your upper arm (upper body), lower arm, and especially upper shoulder bone.

Your shoulders need proper strength to correct these shoulder impingement exercises, and you will get this done by trying the below-mentioned shoulder impingement exercises.

Here are 4 shoulder impingement exercises for you to try –

1. Scapula Retraction And Depression

These exercises are the best shoulder impingement exercises for fixing your hunched shoulder issues.

1.1. How To Do These Exercises?

Step 1:

Start by raising your shoulder, then roll your shoulders back down and hold the position for a moment.

Step 2:

Then repeat the same position as required. Make sure your scapula is in an inaccurate position to perform these exercises correctly.

Step 3:

You can hold the position for 5-10 seconds each time.

1.2. Benefits

The main intention behind performing this exercise should be the compression of your scapula. While performing this exercise, your scapula 1stabilizers are engaged, and hence, it will help to recover from shoulder impingement disorders.

You should concentrate on the movement of the shoulder and not on the spine.

2. Scapula Pull And Push Up

You will find a lot of variations while learning about this exercise as many people do it with different steps and modifications. Scapula Pull also has many other names in which it is recognized worldwide.

Fix your scapula and shoulder movement in a push up | Feat. Tim Keeley | No. 28 | Physio REHAB

2.1. How To Do The Exercise?

Start your exercise by doing a scapula pull first.

a) Scapula Pull

Step 1:

Stretch your arms straight toward the forward direction. Try to reach forwards, keeping your hands horizontal and forward only (with the help of your shoulder at the same time)

Step 2:

Keep your shoulder (and neck) and arm straight and not moving.

Step 3:

Similarly, get back to the starting position by moving your shoulder gently.

Step 4:

Try this hand-holding position for 5-10 seconds to reduce your shoulder pain.

b). Scapula Push

You need wall support to perform one of the most effective and gentle exercises for shoulder impingement constant pain relief.

Step 1:

Make sure your shoulder height is not less than the wall you choose for exercise.

Step 2:

Stand straight against the wall with a straight body posture. Then push your hands against the wall and hold the motion correctly (palms facing forward).

Step 3:

Hold the position for 5-10 seconds to add the resistance to improve your scapulothoracic muscles group. While performing this exercise, make sure you keep your head straight and stand your body in the correct position (avoid bending body parts).

2.2. Benefits

There is always a different opinion about scapula pulling and pushing to reduce pain and shoulder impingement exercises.

This is because many reports came with the fact that there is no difference in strength (rotator cuff) in a normal human and a person with shoulder impingement syndrome.

Since it’s all about shoulder stretching, many shoulder impingement medically reviewed studies concluded that these exercises work well for strengthening your top arm and shoulder blades together (or the whole shoulder and spine).

This exercise is also effective for reducing swelling and content pain due to shoulder injury. It will not only reduce your impingement symptoms but will prevent them from becoming worse.

3. Internal Rotation Laying Down

Improve internal rotation of your shoulder lying down

Another effective exercise to heal injuries and shoulder impingement syndrome2. One of the best shoulder impingement exercises, internal rotation and laying down, will improve your shoulder function.

3.1. How To Do The Exercise?

Step 1:

Lay on the ground by taking a side turn position forcing the weight mainly on your upper arm.

Step 2:

Tilt your elbow place down the ground to make an angle of 90 degrees and involve your shoulder joint.

Step 3:

Keep rotating your arm slowly till you touch (or reach) the other side of your shoulder.

Step 4:

Then perform repetition by getting back to your initial position again.

3.2. Benefits

One of the easiest yet most effective shoulder impingement exercises for the treatment of shoulder disorders. This exercise will work amazingly for your rotator cuff tear( comprising your joint and tendon, mainly 4 muscle groups).

In case you want a bit tougher, add some external weight to this exercise to make it more strenuous.

A swimmer’s shoulder is always great in rotating and motion, and you could also do this exercise to increase your swimmer’s quality and skills with a slight stretch to the shoulders.

4. External Rotation Laying Down

External rotation laying down would also help to strengthen your arm muscles’ inflammation and weakness. It’s a wonderful way to lift your shoulder rotation and flexibility.

Sometimes, overuse or bending of the spine or shoulder would also result in disorder. To prevent such painful repercussions, this exercise could be performed regularly.

You could also check with your physical therapist 3for a better review and consultation. Most people try this exercise as a treatment for shoulder injuries.

Side Lying External Rotation

4.1. How To Do The Exercise?

This is just the opposite of internal rotation laying down.

Step 1:

Start by laying down on the ground and make an angle of 90 degrees by tilting your elbow.

Step 2:

Then rotate your elbow towards the outward direction for doing this exercise.

Step 3:

Repeat the exercise 5-10 times for better physical therapy results.

4.2. Benefits

The benefits are the same as internal rotation laying down.

Click here to read more about shoulder injuries and disorders.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does shoulder impingement go away?

Shoulder impingement usually does not go away on its own, but therapy is frequently highly successful.

2. How long does shoulder impingement take to fully heal?

The full recovery from a shoulder impingement may take up to six months. It can take up to a year for some severe impingements to recover. Nonetheless, you should be able to return to your normal activities within two to four weeks.


Shoulder impingement exercises are effective in reducing your shoulder pain and strengthening your shoulder bone. Most people find these exercises helpful for your arm, chest, neck, and many other muscles.

The best part about these exercises is that they can be performed in a rest position (fewer movements), which is easy for most people out there looking for some comfortable shoulder impingement exercises.

If you have any physical therapy treatment that would focus on your injury recovery, impingement symptoms, a stretch of muscles, and lifting your muscles, these will do the job.

You can perform shoulder impingement exercises after surgery as well for a faster recovery and coping with weakness. Also, it would help if you lessened the overuse of tendons, elbow, neck, chest, and arms to recover from any shoulder disorder.

So go ahead and try out these great shoulder impingement exercises!

  1. Hwang, Myeungsik, Sangbin Lee, and Chaegil Lim. “Effects of the proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation technique on scapula function in office workers with scapula Dyskinesis.” Medicina 57.4 (2021): 332. ↩︎
  2. Shahrizaila, Nortina, Helmar C. Lehmann, and Satoshi Kuwabara. “Guillain-Barré syndrome.” The lancet 397.10280 (2021): 1214-1228. ↩︎
  3. Wampold, Bruce E., and J. E. S. S. E. Owen. “Therapist effects: History, methods, magnitude.” Bergin and Garfield’s handbook of psychotherapy and behavior change (2021): 297-326. ↩︎

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