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Shoulder Warm-Up Tips

Summit physical therapist and shoulder expert Amanda Thielen, PT, MSPT, discusses the best ways to warm up your shoulder before exercise or activity.

What’s the best way to warm up your shoulders before starting exercise or activity? The answer may surprise you. Read on for our best shoulder warm-up ideas.

“The best way to prepare for exercise or activity is doing some dynamic warm-ups, which is moving while you stretch, stretching through a joint’s whole range of motion to prepare the muscles and joints for exercise,” Thielen said.

Whereas prolonged, static stretching of cold muscles is not a good idea, dynamic stretching promotes blood flow by increasing the circulation to muscle tissues and joints. “It helps prevent injury and helps improve your overall performance,” Thielen said. “When we’re preparing for an activity or exercise, the goal is to promote blood flow to the muscles and lubricate the joint tissues so that they’re ready for exercise.”

Three quick shoulder warm-up tips

Five dynamic warm-up ideas for shoulders

What to do after your workout

“After your workout, it’s a whole different ball game,” Thielen said. “The types of movement we recommend are completely different.”

After exercise, when the joint is warm, is the time to focus on improving flexibility with prolonged, static stretches. A good general guideline is to stretch and hold for 20 to 60 seconds. You should feel a gentle stretch, but no pain. But static stretches are not the right thing to do before exercise — it can overlengthen the muscle fibers, reducing performance, and it does not achieve the goals of increasing blood flow to the joint and preparing it for activity.

When to seek treatment for your arthritis

Arthritis doesn’t have to spell the end of an active life. Whether you try these shoulder warm-up ideas or not, if you are experiencing worrisome symptoms or persistent pain, the renowned arthritis specialists at Summit Orthopedics can help. We work with you to confirm a diagnosis and develop an appropriate conservative treatment plan. If nonsurgical treatments fail to support your lifestyle goals, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons will consult with you and discuss appropriate surgical options. Summit is home to innovative joint replacement options. Our Vadnais Heights Surgery Center is one of a select few nationally to receive The Joint Commission’s Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement.

Start your journey to healthier joints. Find your arthritis expert, request an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a consultation.

Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MNPlymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.

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