As anyone who’s suffered a sports-related injury will know, it’s vital to introduce movement back to the affected area in the right way. Using the correct exercises will speed up recovery and help ensure there are no problems in the long-term. We asked Dapeng Zhang, a Harley Street massage therapist, for his post-injury rehabilitation exercise recommendations for key parts of the body. In the first part of this series, we’re focusing on shoulder injuries.
Shoulder Injury Rehabilitation Exercises
These are all resistance exercises intended to build and repair damaged muscle. They’re suitable for anyone recovering from breaks, fractures and dislocations.
“Although such exercises are necessary for recovery, it's important to listen to our bodies and gauge how they feel,” says Zhang. “If you find an exercise painful, you’re putting your body under too much physical stress to be beneficial. It can be frustrating when you want to speed up recovery but overly taxing an injury will slow down its recovery time and may even cause long-term problems.”
Hold your arm by your side with a slight bend in it, then try to lift it while someone else holds your elbow and applies a gentle downward force. A bungee cord held securely under the foot (don't let it snap back!) will also suffice.
Stand at arm’s length from a wall and slowly move your hand up and down as though you were using a paintbrush.
In a standing position, push off a wall gently with both hands. To start with, repeat a number of times that feels comfortable. Try to increase this every few days.
Picking an apple
Imagine you are trying to pick an apple from a tree but it’s just out of reach. Stand on tiptoe trying to make every bit of yourself higher and taller to reach it.
Get the Coach Newsletter
Sign up for workout ideas, training advice, reviews of the latest gear and more.
Max was the head of digital content for Men's Fitness which worked alongside Coach between 2015 and 2019.