Many people ask, “Which is better, strength training or stretching?” For most people, the answer is “No,” but sometimes, they can be two sides of the same coin. Some people have better flexibility than others and are stronger, so they stretch more. If you are strong and flexible, you will have less pain because your tissues will provide you with a tighter resistance. If you are weak and don’t have great flexibility, you will benefit from strength training because it improves your muscle tone and gives you more endurance. The best solution is combining strength training and stretching for the ultimate workout.
Stretching is an excellent way to strengthen your shoulder muscles because it increases blood flow and reduces the tension holding you back. Some might think that strength training exercises will help because they are also strengthening the muscle. While some are directly competing with each other, most will complement each other. Before you start any strength training exercises for your shoulder muscles, make sure that you discuss with your trainer which exercises are safe to do before you begin any exercise plan which entails you stretching.
There are several exercises you can do to strengthen your rotator cuff without hurting yourself. One is overhead crunches. This works the gluteus medias and the supraspinatus, allowing for improved mobility and range of motion, which will decrease the amount of pain you experience while exercising. Low reps with a low weight are recommended for this exercise to target these muscle groups, which also work your oblique muscles for balance and stability.
Another exercise you can do for relieving anterior shoulder pain is hip circles. Like the overhand crunches, you can do this with a low weight. However, you’ll be working more of your quadriceps muscles. This helps your pelvis and improves stability. The next time you’re out walking, always do the hip circles to help increase your flexibility and endurance, making you less susceptible to injury. One of the best things about doing these kinds of stretches is that they also stretch your tendons, preventing pain from occurring in those areas of the body when you engage in these exercises.
Many people don’t think of doing the Alexander Technique, which strengthens the muscles in the upper back, pelvis, buttocks, hips, thighs, and neck. It uses a “rounded movement” that works all the muscles in your back while taking them through an unstable surface. The instability can be performed by lying on your back with your knees bent, with a ball (ball or heavy towel) under one arm, or with both arms at your sides. Once you’ve reached a stable position, rotate your torso by extending your legs and lifting your buttocks off the floor. Repeat with each arm ten times.
This last exercise for shoulder pain involves an infraspinatus tendon glide. You will lie on your back, with your knees bent and ankles crossed over your chest. Lean forward slightly, then extend your arms towards the ceiling and raise your body by bending your elbows, lifting your legs in the air.