Shoulder Impingement Exercises To Avoid And Alternate Exercises


Shoulder impingement is a common condition that is really painful. This increased level is a pain is really frustrating for many people especially the ones who cannot sit on a place. This is also not acceptable for athletes or people with a routine to do exercise daily. The treatment of shoulder impingement is said to be exercise and most of the people follow this method to get rid of this severe pain as soon as possible. However, not all exercises are good, there are many shoulder impingement exercises to avoid that can be really harmful to the joint. Many substitute exercises are also available that can be done in order to target same muscles.

Some of the shoulder impingement exercises to avoid are discussed in this article. Also, the replacement exercises are present to so that same muscles will work with the substitute method.

List of Shoulder Impingement Exercises to Avoid and Alternate Exercises


Presses overhead

When a person does this exercise, the bones reach overhead and closer. This closeness in bones creates a lot of issues. The problem of shoulder impingement means that the structure of shoulder is pinched. While doing this exercise, the pressure is exerted on the pinched structure of shoulder. The position of arms towards the outside, bending of elbows and them hands facing towards the ceiling is the worst condition for the shoulder impingement. This will have more impact on the affected points of shoulder and ultimately make the condition even worse. The substitute exercise used to target same muscles is to incline bench press.

shoulder impingement exercises to avoid

Bench press incline (Alternate method)

The things needed for this exercise are the dumbbells and weight bench. The process is really simple to follow. The person should lie down on the bench to the angle of 45 degrees. Then hold dumbbells in both hands. Put the weight at the height of chest and then bend both elbows. Then, press weights in an outward direction to make the elbows straight. This position should be held for few seconds and then get back towards the starting point. This exercise is done with three sets of 10 repetitions each.

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Lateral raises

This is another shoulder impingement exercise to avoid that creates problems with shoulder impingement. In this exercise, the arms are lifted in an outward direction until the person reaches the point of shoulder height. Due to this movement, the structure of shoulder is pinched. This is not a good practice to do in shoulder impingement. Instead of this, the shoulder raises with bent – over will help a lot. The process for doing bent over is described below.

shoulder impingement exercises to avoid

Shoulder raises with bent over (Alternate method)

The requirements to do this exercise involve dumbbells as well as the surface with a height of a chair or a weight bench. The first step is to place a knee on the surface of the bench. Then, place the hand on the bench while leaning forward. In this process, the elbow should remain straight. The opposite hand should hold the dumbbell and the palm should be facing side of the person. In this position, make a slow shift of arm to the outside so that it comes on the height of the shoulder. When the arm reaches the height of the shoulder, the arm should be rotated until the thumb is pointing on the ceiling. The arm should rest in this position for few seconds and then slowly back down on the lower end. In this complete movement, the elbow should be kept straight. Three sets of 10 repetitions each would be enough for this exercise.


Pulldowns are a famous exercise and it is also famous by the name of lat pulldowns. This exercise is done for the strength of back with cable column. This is also among one of the shoulder impingement exercises to avoid that can increase the pain, especially in the case when bars are pulled behind the neck. The technique needs a little change to be done in a safe manner. The correct method to perform this exercise is discussed below.

shoulder impingement exercises to avoid


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Alternate method

The person should sit on the bench with the legs across its sides and face the table column. When the palms of a person’s face on the forward and the bars with slightly more distance than the shoulders should be grabbed. More width between the bars will be problematic because the pressure on the shoulders and their structure will be increased. Then the person should slightly lean back and pull bars towards the chest so that the shoulder blades are squeezed together. This position should be continued for few seconds and then again come to the starting point. Ten repetitions should be done in three sets each. This exercise will really help a lot in bringing back the strength and posture of the body.

Rotation of shoulder

This is also a complex exercise that can be harmful in case of shoulder impingement. Also, even if the person does not do it on regular basis in a formal way, this exercise is the part of the routine and people normally do it while washing hairs, getting dressed and in many other sports activities. When the person lifts the arm on the side of the shoulder, the muscles are used in shoulder rotation and are strengthened. This is a shoulder impingement exercises to avoid because the muscles used in this process can cause pain because of the increase in pressure when the structure of shoulder is already disturbed. So, the rotation of muscles can also be done with the help of a band while the arm will be kept on the side of person and muscles will not be affected. The appropriate of way doing so is described below.

shoulder impingement exercises to avoid

Alternate method

The person should hold an elastic band at the height of waist at a smooth surface. The side on which band is secured is the exact opposite of the side whose outward rotation will be strengthened. So, the person should stand on the left side to strengthen the right arm muscles. The opposite end should be held with a right hand. Then, step away from the side of the secured end so that the slack gets taken up in the band. Then, the person should bend his right elbow to the angle of 90 degrees. The upper arm is kept on the side and right forearm is kept as far as possible from the body. This position is held for 2 to 3 seconds and then the person comes towards starting point. Three sets of ten repetitions are done in a row for it to be effective.

There is another way of doing this to help a person with inward rotation. The right side of a person should be positioned at the secured end so that the inward rotation of right shoulder is strengthened. The elbow is bent on 90 degrees and the upper side of the arm is placed next to the body. The rotation of forearm is done inward and it is kept as far as possible from the body. This position is also held for few seconds and then three sets of ten repetitions are done.

All of the above-mentioned exercises were shoulder impingement exercises to avoid along with the alternate methods to target same muscles. These methods will be really helpful because at the end the muscles will also be strengthened and their mobility will be increased while there will be no negative effect of these movements if it is done rightly. There are many physical activities such as raising arms overhead, lifting things, and throwing things will definitely have an effect on the muscles and create painful symptoms for shoulder impingement. So, care should be taken in all these scenarios and if necessary, the patient should consult a relevant doctor to avoid such issues.

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