Shoulder Strengthening Exercises with a Resistive Band – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody, it’s Doctor Jo. Today we’re
gonna talk about some shoulder exercises. So hopefully you’ve already taken a look at
the stretching exercises cause the key is, mobilize, stretch, then strengthen. So today
we’re gonna do some strengthening exercises, and we’re gonna use some bands. Now you might
have gotten a couple of different bands from your therapist or your Doctor, and they come
in different colors. The lightest one is yellow, so that’s gonna be the least amount of resistance,
and that’s the one we’ll use today. And then there’s some reds and greens and blues and
even blacks, so we’re gonna start off with the lightest one, that’s the one you should
start off with as well so you don’t injure yourself. So today we’re gonna use the yellow
band which is the lightest resistance. So what I’m gonna have your do, I’m gonna have
you kind of turn around and bend up your knees for me. Your gonna put the band around your
feet so it has an anchor. Now you can also do this on a door, put it around a door, but
make sure if you put it on the door, the door’s closed, so the door doesn’t come swinging
back open to you. So what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna keep your back nice and straight.
Your gonna bring your arms forward and have them straight, and this is how you’re gonna
start. And what we’re gonna do now is we’re gonna pull our elbows back and squeeze those
shoulder blades together. You want to almost like you’re pinching somebody if they’ve got
their hand right in between your shoulder blades. And then slowly come back forward.
Now this is not the movement. Your not actually bending your arms up, this is more of a bicep
curl. You’re keeping your arms straight, you’re keeping your elbows to your side, you’re pulling
back, squeezing those shoulder blades. And the key is to slowly come back. You want to
work the band, don’t let the band work you. So you’re not going back and forth like this,
it’s a nice controlled motion. Squeezing back, coming forward. Now the key with how many
should I do. You what to be working your muscles until you start feeling a light burn. When
you feel that light burn, you want to do 2 more repetitions. So that might be 10, that
might be 15, that might be 8. But if you get to 15 or 20, and you’re still not feeling
a burn, that’s when you need to go up to the next color of theraband. So this exercise
that we just did, you might hear it called rows, or scapular retraction, that means those
shoulder blades are going backwards. Now the next one we’re gonna do is called scapular
protraction, so those shoulder blades are going forward. So what you’re gonna do is
you’re gonna wrap the band around behind you, almost like you’re hugging it. And you’re
gonna bring your arms forward. Now see how my elbows are straight, you want to keep your
elbows straight. You don’t want them bending and pushing like this, you want to keep them
locked out straight the whole time. And what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna punch forward.
So see how my shoulders are coming forward, but I’m not punching forward like that. My
whole shoulder is going forward. Same kind of thing, you want to go until you feel a
slight burn and then do 2 more of those. So this is scapular protraction. The shoulder
blades are going forward. Alright. So the next exercises that I’m gonna have you do
is you’re still using the band, and what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna put your elbows right
at your side. Now this is the one people have a hard time with because their elbows want
to go out, they want to kind of wing out. You really want to keep your elbows by your
side, and if you’re having a hard time doing that, lots of times you can roll up a towel,
put it on each side, so if the towel starts to fall, you know that your elbows are coming
away from your sides. So what you’re gonna do is you’re gonna keep your elbows nice and
close to your side. You’re gonna hold the band with your thumbs up. And what you’re
gonna do into a comfortable position, you’re just gonna push out as far as you comfortably
can without your elbows leaving your side. So if you’re doing this, that’s not correct.
What you want to do is you want to keep those elbows close to your side. So you might only
be able to go to right here, but that’s ok. You just want to go out and in, nice and slow.
And remember you want to control the band, don’t let the band control you. Ok, so here
are the exercises for standing with the band for your shoulder. What I’m gonna have you
do now is step on the band here as an anchor point. What you can do is if you want to tie
a knot in your band, you can close a door on it as an anchor, but make sure the door’s
closed, so when you start pulling it doesn’t swing back in and hit you in the face. Alright,
now what I’m gonna have you do is you want to keep your arm straight, you don’t want
to bend the elbow, your arm wants to be straight the whole time. And what we’re gonna start
off with is what we call scaption. Which is not directly in the front of you, and it’s
not directly to the side of you, but it’s about a 45 degree angle. Your thumb’s gonna
be pointed upwards. So what we’re gonna do now is we’re gonna come at a 45 degree angle,
all the way up to about 90 degrees. You don’t want to go too much higher, you want to stay
at about that 90 degrees right there. So you’re gonna go slowly back down. Remember you want
to control the band, don’t let the band control you. This is using momentum, so it’s not really
using those muscles. So nice and controlled, control that band, about that 90 degrees and
slowly coming back down. The next one’s gonna be abduction. So that’s going out completely
to the side. So what you’re gonna do here is you’re gonna keep that arm straight, and
you’re gonna go straight out to the side, that 90 degrees right here, and slowly come
back down. Now if you’re elbow’s bent, and you’re having to go like this, then it’s probably
too much resistance and you might want to try these exercises without a band at all.
SO remember, keeping that arm straight, coming out to about 90 degrees, and slowly coming
back down. So then the next one here is gonna be going forward, the flexion. Same, same
technique. Keeping that arm straight, keeping the thumb up, coming to that 90 degrees, and
slowly coming back down. You want to go until you feel that burn, and once you feel that
burn, you want to do 2 more reps. And then the last one is shoulder extension. So you’re
going back. Now you don’t have to go all the way up to 90 degrees for this one because
that’s probably gonna start hurting your shoulder a little bit. You can just go back until you
start feeling the pressure, but the key is to keep your elbow locked out. If you’re doing
this, that’s not what we’re looking for, that’s a different exercise. So keep that arm straight,
going straight back. So there you have it. Those were your shoulder exercises with the
band. So if you liked them, please click the like button, and leave us a comment. And if
you’d like to see more exercise videos or some educational videos, please check me out
at And remember, be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.


  1. nice!
    what about shoulder dislocations?

    btw so many great stuff…difficult to pick stretches and make a program…so much choice haha

  2. Yes! Using resistive bands is a great way to increase stability in your shoulder!

  3. Thank you for putting these videos online, they have really helped me. My shoulder pain has gotten alot better, but I still feel a little pain going down the side of my arm to my elbow, in the middle deltoid area. Any ideas? Also what is the reason for not going above shoulder level?

  4. You're welcome!! Sounds like you might have an impingement. Usually the referred pain is down the side of the arm. If you are getting better, keep it up! Sometimes it takes a long time to heal. The reason for not going above 90 degrees is to avoid more irritation into the impingement area. Good luck!!

  5. Great videos!  Would you recommend working from mobilization, to stretching, to strengthening, over time?  Or do them all on the same day? Also, for these strengthening exercises, should I be doing them every day, or is that too much?  Just 1 set of each exercise?  Thanks for all your helpful tips!

  6. One more question… do you have a brand of theta-bands you recommend?  I'm getting mixed reviews on Amazon and want to make sure I get some good ones that give me different resistances to work through.  Thanks again!! 🙂 

  7. really like your videos, i will be doing some of these as they vary a little bit from my current ones. i finished a second round of pt back in Feb. for my shoulder tendonitis/impingement. I also was having some back pain along with it. i have been doing considerably better and have been focusing on shoulder and back exercises at the gym regularly. about twice a week. i am wondering if i should take a break from that here and there? i don't want to over work some muscles and not work others, could that cause an imbalance??

  8. Where i can buy this band???

  9. I wish I knew about these exercises before my rotator cuff tear! Great explanations and descriptions !

  10. doctor jo , you just heal my neck !! i  had issue spasms around 3 years ago well now am  better but my shoulders shaking and i cant  work out thanks

  11. The last ones i can no do even a 1/4….cause of my elbow…left is the sick one and the right i have to but lighter, and i can doe little better. Omg i'm old….48 years(on pic 47) heeeeeeeelp ! :). The other exercises is ok. Thanks

  12. I love  this video I have Cerebellum Ataxia and I took therapy  for years and did  thing very  similar  to this! But I always have trouble finding a band strong enough..

  13. thank you again

  14. hi doctor jo your videos are pretty nice I have had rotator cuff injury can u show me some more exercises with the resistance band especially for the rotator cuff and my neck is also starting to hurt please help.

  15. thank you your videos are crispy clear thanks again

  16. Hi Dr Jo! Do you have any exercises I could do at home for Multi Directional Instability?
    Thank you! Julie

  17. Thanks Dr Jo for the suggested views. I have been working on strengthening my shoulder with all these exercises except the modified push up. Sadly, I fear I may be looking at surgery soon! The exercises hurt still, but when relaxed my arm pulls out of the socket. PT has had me working through the pain to get stronger. I am getting stronger for daily activities, but just sitting gravity pulls my arm out of place. Sleeping is hard because I feel it pull forward or backwards depending how I'm laying. Very frustrating! It has been almost 4 months. Thank you for any suggestions! And thank you for your videos!! Julie

  18. Hi there, thank you sooo much! I had a AC separation (fell off a bike pretty violently, my collarbone dislocated and went up about an inch). Had a surgery (with tightrope) and now I'm in rehabilitation phase. I'm gonna do exactly these exercises beside ROM ones when home. Very detailed, down to earth, concise and helpful video. Keep on the goob job and cheerz from Croatia! 🙂

  19. Hi Dr. Jo! An old shoulder injury made it hard to sleep last night. Should I just ice for a few days before starting stretches/exercises?

  20. Thank you Dr. Jo. Ridiculous bursitis pain in my right should. Will swimming in a cool pool or doing these exercises in water help?

  21. Hello dr. Jo… My shoulder was dislocated during a boxing match. Your videos are extremely helpful. I kindly request you give me tips & medicines to regain my shoulder strength and to avoid dislocation in the future matches

  22. 2:01—when you say two more reps after the "light burn" are you talking about felling the pain from the injury,or just overall muscle fatigue in general?

  23. Thank you, Dr. Jo, both of your rotator cuff exercises have brought me so much relief and I've only been doing it for two days. I am finally going to stick to this and do it a few times per week. I can't sleep because of the strained rotator cuff. Question how many times per week do you recommend doing these exercises? Is there such a thing with doing them too many times?

  24. Hi Dr Jo, thanks for the video, does these exercises also helps tennis elbow syndrome ?

  25. Thank you so much Doctor Jo! Love your videos

  26. I saw your videos on stretching the shoulders, but I don't know what "mobilizing" is. Please advise. So, am I supposed to stretch the shoulders first and then exercise. Should I stretch after I exercise again?

  27. Hello Dr. Jo,

    Your videos are very helpful. Quick question: When performing any of these exercise that causes you to raise your arm (such as scaption, flexion or extension), is it best to only raise your arm up to a 90 degree angle?

    I went to my sports doctor recently and a few of the exercises that he gave me shows the person raising their arm up between 40-45 degrees. What do you suggest?

  28. Hey Dr. Jo – What exercises would you recommend for scapula bursitis?

  29. your videos are highly heeling doc!!:)..I request u to make a specific one for scapular winging….wll be a gr8 help!!!…and I love the way you pronounce those two words…. Disclaimer Alert!!! Disclaimer Alert!!!!…;)

  30. What if I can't reach 90 degrees as it's painful could I just raise it as high as I can ?

  31. I have winging of scapula problem. Can i do this exercise.

  32. So I'm not sure what my problem is with shoulder… my inner left shoulder is tender and on the back near tricep hurts.. lot of inflammation but how can I recover?? Stoped touching weights for a month and a week.. anyone !?!

  33. very nicely explained thank you..

  34. dr jo you are so beautifull👌👌👌

  35. Hi. Doctor Jo. A bunch of videos have been helpful for me a lot. And i have some questions. First let me explain my state now.
    I got shoulder dislocation on my right arm two months ago in China when i was traveling. So i went to doctor to relocate my shoulder within 5 hours as i remember and i had relaxed for a week at China without using my right hand at all, taking some stuff that make my shoulder fasten into the side of my body. And then i came back to my country, Korea, and just keep not using for 2 weeks. Later, i felt painful and worried about my shoulder and then i went to doctor and i got a lot of medicines which are Taligen Tab, Terilax XL Tab, Brodase Tab and Almagate Tab. 500mg for the amount of almost 1 month and get some therapies such as applying hot pack for 30 minutes and kind of electronic stimulation. And i did exercise for rehabilitation following my doctor's instruction. i had done like that for 1 month. After that, i went to China again for 2 weeks to see my girlfriend and i just quit to have rehabilitation. However i had used my arm in daily life for that 2 weeks. And then i came back again to Korea. Now i stopped taking medicines but started again to do exercise for rehabilitation with applying hot pack by watching your informative videos.
    That is my condition now. So my question is
    1. Do you think i can get recovered without medicines?
    2. Which video should i watch and follow for the first time when i follow your way of strengthening shoulder?
    3. it has been for exact 2 months now and now i feel my recovery progress isn't quite satisfied. I really want to work out like lifting and soccer. So how long usually has the recovery been taken to get fully recovered?
    Thank you so much for reading such a long writing!!

    PS. i read and understood your disclaiming alert totally. so don't worry about that. just i want to get your grateful advice!! Thank You!!

  36. your great

  37. I've had a shoulder impingement and I'm just about recovered. What these exercises be good to do in order to regain my strength?

  38. for bilateral external rotations, do you want to emphasize traps down and shoulder blades together? When do you not want to emphasize this?

  39. Are there are more exercises ???

  40. Dr.can u plzzz tell m some exercise for flat toes and straight back…

  41. Hi Doctor Jojo I have a question. Where do you buy your bands? And how long do they last for you?

  42. hii dr. can you please tell me some exercises for clavicle rehab?? I don't have a fracture. But I used my mobile phone holding with right hand continuously for hours almost a month while sleeping on my back. now because of less movement I got my clavicle bone very sensitive, so that if I touch my bone I have pain over there. I can do everything with my right hand but with pain over weak clavicle.

  43. Thank you Dr. Jo! What great videos! Thank you for your generosity!

  44. Thank you for clear, concise and well presented videos. I'm a new fan!

  45. so good. valuable.


  47. Hi
    Why did you the shoulder flexion and abduction just to 90 degree
    Why don't you reaching to 180 degree

  48. Thank you for your instructions which make a lot of difference.

  49. I had shoulder tendonitis(left) , use to pain when raising hand at an arc angle. Tried electric simulation and ultrasound .. reduced my pain to almost 80% .. but its not completely cured, still feel bit inflammation and slight pain at an angle. Do u recommend using resistant bands exercises?

  50. I had shoulder dislocation 2 and a half years ago and was exercising with weights intermittently since then. Can i completely stop my shoulder strengthening now?

  51. I have frozen shoulder and I am following you exercises. You are the best. Thank you.

  52. How many times should i do these exercises in a day?

  53. Great video!

  54. Hello Dr.Jo😊..Do you recommend the same set of exercises for the Shoulder Impingement Syndrome?

  55. Isn't the goal of scaption to depress the scapula? On the row, when the elbows are back like you demonstrate, aren't the shoulder blades "mechanically" retracted. They're pushed into adduction by the humerus?

  56. I had luxation of my left arm. Can i use this exercises ? Thank you 🙂

  57. doctor please tell neck exercise also


  59. Kool,just found this program,I'm a 49yr old Aotearorian male with severe inflammation, recently injured my rotator cuff muscles (right side) & this program is really good,very happy I found it,thank you Dr Jo!😊😎

  60. Thanks Doc!

  61. Sooooooooo useful, really appreciate DoctorJo~

  62. thanks ma'am for uploading this… its working… ma'am i have problem in anterior serratus. even there is winging of scapula.. may i go for this or please guide me something more?. thanks

  63. Hello Mam
    I am a Badminton player
    I feel a sharp pain while Smashing Shuttle
    After some time pain vanished
    The pain occurs on first shot
    What was the reason
    Also i concerned with physiotherapist there a no rotator cuff injury or joint pain
    What are the reason

  64. Recently,I started watching your videos seriously. They are very much useful. I have started incorporating them in my exercise regimen. Thanks. 🙏

  65. Dr.Jo wht exercise is good fr d stiff ellbow?

  66. nice

  67. excellent information from Dr. Jo…..

  68. Thanks

  69. you the best and the funniest

  70. Does it improve the condition of people with recurrent shoulder dislocation ?

  71. Great videos definitely helps , your accent is great

  72. I got supraspinatus tendinitis bicep tendonitis 2 month ago. Now my situation is better. The pain area is far less than before. My pain area is just on the top of tendon of supraspinatus & bicep now.

    Normally should be light weight training for supraspinatus and bicep until all pain go away?

  73. i like that exercise

  74. I had an accident on September 6th 2018. I had my right shoulder dislocation and proximal humerus fracture. Surgery done with plate and screws fixed. Doc I want to ask you, whatever exercises you have suggested, can I do it for my shoulder ?

  75. Very nice, and very helpful, thank you.

  76. How awesome are you Doctor Jo…!!!
    You rock!
    Thank you for this amazing instructions and exercise you show with the resistance band, and please- let me state for the record,
    I'm a guy/dude in great shape, I play long hrs of tennis and train, Big weights and big Muscles Do not Fix the Issue/pain, your exercise is what helped heal my shoulder!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you ! 🙏🤗🙏

  77. Thank you

  78. Excellent educational shoulder video as always! 👏👍

  79. Dr. Jo, looking for a how-to video from you for the Brachial Plexus Gliding Exercises. Do you have one? Thank you for your radial nerve gliding video. Super helpful.

  80. Good work out loved the videos

  81. I

  82. Hi, how many series and repetitions would you recomment for each exrcises ?

  83. Really good video. Just started these exercises after heart surgery.

  84. Followed along with my bands at the same time! Thanks. Really love your videos

  85. what about shoulder adduction (when standing) with resistance band in a door frame? Would that be good to do 4 months after shoulder bursitis surgery?

  86. Thank you for this video. Are these exercises done every other day or daily?

  87. Pls i can’t reach my back at all . I have acromion on my shoulder .i need to do operation. Some suggest to do exercises before. Pls what are the easiest exercises to start with thanks

  88. good information!! thank u!

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