Skip to main content

Shoulder Exercises for Injury Prevention

Shoulder Exercises for Injury Prevention

Your shoulders take a beating. These shoulder exercises will help protect you from unwanted injuries.

Much like the ankle joint, the shoulder joint benefits greatly from extra time spent on pre-hab exercises. Here we’ll discuss three different pre-hab movements that are all both easy to perform, and effective in developing the muscles in,and around, your shoulders. Pre-hab exercises are best performed at the beginning of your workout, and can even be included into your warm-up, but regardless of when you do them, just be sure to do them!


This shoulder series is very easy and effective. The goal is to make each rep a slow and controlled movement while using a little weight. For beginners, use a 5 pound weight plate in each hand and perform 2 sets of 5 reps for each exercise. When doing each rep, make sure to pause at the top and lift the weight rather than swingingit. While this may seem complicated, just bear with me.

The Y exercise is performed with straight arms and thumbs up as you raise the weights up and make a Y.

The T raise is performed with straight arms and thumbs pointing down (so that your arms are shaped like a T… crazy, I know).

As you’d probably imagine, the W exercise is performed with your elbows bent. Raise your elbows up to pinch your shoulder blades together, pause, and then return the weights to the ground.

With the Y, T, and W exercises out of the way, let’s discuss the L exercise. Instead of being one movement, this one is performed on 3 commands. With your arms straight down, the first command is “pinch” where you pinch your shoulder blades together. The next command is “Row” where you row your arms up so you have a 90 degree angle in the elbow. The final command is “Rotate” where you lock your wrist in and rotate your arms and weights up and back. Confused? Take a look at the video to see what all of these exercises look like when performed correctly.

Super 8

The super 8 shoulder series is comprised of 8 different exercises, with 10 reps being performed for each part of the series. Once again you’ll want to start with light weights and perform each rep in a slow and controlled manner to avoid swinging the weights.

The order of the super 8 series is as follows:

  1. Front raise
  2. V raise
  3. Lateral raise
  4. Rear raise
  5. Rows
  6. Decels
  7. Six shooters
  8. Internal and External Rotation

The video will show you everything you need to know but here are a few pointers:

Front Raise - Performed with straight arms and thumbs up. Raise your arms up in front to shoulder height and then return them to your sides.

V raise - Performed with the thumbs down pointed in towards your groin. Lift them up making a “V” until they’re shoulder height.

Lateral raise - Performed with straight arms and thumbs up. Lift your arms up until they’re at shoulder level.

Rear raises
- performed in a bent over row position with your arms straight and your thumbs up. Raise your arms, keeping the weight in line with your shoulder until they are parallel with the ground.

Rows - Performed in the same bent over row position. Row the weights up to your armpits and focus on pinching your shoulder blades together.

Decels - Performed lying on your side while on the ground. Raise your arm up so that it is straight in the air and your thumb is pointed down. Slowly lower the weight to the floor keeping your arm straight, and then return it to the starting position. Perform this exercise on both sides before moving onto the next one.

Six shooters - Performed standing up with your arms slightly bent at the elbow. Keep the same bend in the elbow through the entire range of motion and bring your arms up overhead until your biceps are by your ears.

Internal and external rotation - Performed with a band. Keep the top half of your arm and elbow tight to your side and rotate out for external rotation. Keep the arm in the same position and rotate in for internal rotation. Perform on both arms.

Again, should none of the above make sense, don’t sweat it. Take a look at the video to see the series done correctly.


This shoulder series is performed with a 5 pound weight plate. Stand straight up holding the plate with your straight arms out in front of you. Now all you have do is write out the alphabet using the weight plates. Simple enough right? Just make sure to keep your arms straight throughout the series and write each letter of the alphabet in big capital letters. Check out the video to see the A-B-C done correctly.

With 3 shoulder injury prevention exercises to choose from there’s no reason to ever suffer the effects of tendonitis, “dead arm,” or overall shoulder pain. Start incorporating them into your workouts and you’ll quickly reap the benefits of having stronger shoulders.

In addition to the shoulder exercises above, 1R would recommend the following supplements to help prevent shoulder injuries:

  1. Cytosport Joint Matrix – When you’re training hard, and/or training heavy, your joints inevitably take a beating. Joint matrix will ensure that you don’t feel that beating the next day
  2. Optimum Nutrition Fish Oil – These tasteless fish oil pills will help you burn fat, improve joint health, and reduce inflammation associated with hard training

04 / 10 / 2017 1R