Best 5 shoulder exercises to rid biceps tendonitis pain - Be My Healer

Best 5 shoulder exercises to rid biceps tendonitis pain

By Sophie Xie / October 21, 2016
biceps tendonitis exercise

Is it necessary to exercise for biceps tendonitis pain? No. You can get better with a lot of resting, icing, some massage and OTC meds.

However, you should not take this condition lightly. In most cases, having biceps tendonitis pain is an indication that your shoulder is not in great shape.

You are very likely to have weakness in the rotator cuff muscles, poor shoulder blades stabilization, and concerning posture. All these factors are increasing your risk of developing other shoulder conditions and chronic shoulder pain.

​Exercises and stretches are like the vegetables for your body: Do without them at your own risks.

Here is a healthy list of exercises to rid of your biceps tendonitis pain fast, and to keep shoulder pain away for good.

Exercise 1: 3-way door stretch 

The door stretch is a great first step to improving overall shoulder, neck and upper body health. By stretching the pectoralis muscles (chest muscles), you are setting your posture and shoulder joint free!

door stretch 3 way posture shoulder pain

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  • Find a doorway, ideally with the width that fit your size
  • First for the low pec stretch, step into doorway with one foot in front of other. Elbows rest below shoulder height, hands on the door frame, use hips to push forward into the doorway. Hold the stretch 30 seconds.
  • Next, for the 90 deg pec stretch, step into doorway with one foot in front of other. Elbows even with shoulders, entire forearm pressed against the door frame, use hips to push forward into the doorway. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Finally, for the high pec stretch, step into doorway with one foot in front of other. Elbows slightly higher than shoulders, hands on door frame overhead, shoulders relaxed,use hips to push forward into the doorway. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
  • For all three stretches, you should feel the stretch in the chest and front of the shoulder. Each stretch targets different muscle fibers.

Note: Here we show you to do the stretch with both sides together. Depends on personal preference, you can also stretch one shoulder at a time with the same hand placement.

If you experience shoulder pain with the high pec stretch, you should skip this stretch until your shoulder pain gets better.​

Exercise 2: ​Shoulder blades squeeze/pinch

I love this exercise! A lot of people with experiencing shoulder or neck pain need to start on this exercise to get some upper back and shoulder blade stabilization going on. 

Lots of patient comments that "I didn't know that I have these muscles!"​

shoulder blades squeeze pinch posture upper back strengthening scapular stabilization
shoulder blade squeeze
  • Assume good posture in standing or sitting
  • Draw your shoulder blades back and down
  • Hold the exercise for 5-10 seconds and relax, repeat 10 times

For those people with very weak upper back muscles, you might experience muscle cramping while holding for this exercise. If that's the case, you can start by holding 2 seconds per repetition, or simply ease up on the intensity of the squeeze. 

A great time to pump out this exercise is when you are sitting in traffic.​

Once this exercise becomes too easy, you can progress to the shoulder retraction in prone: the same exercise only against the pull of gravity.​

shoulder retraction in prone

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Exercise 3: Shoulder external rotation

This is a rotator cuff muscle exercise strengthening the infraspinatus and teres minor muscle. (Two small yet important postural muscles)

I highly recommend this exercise for all people experiencing shoulder pain. ​

Shoulder External Rotation with Theraband

shoulder external rotation with bands

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  • Anchor your band to a door or sturdy furniture at elbow height.
  • Standing with your arm away from the band at 90 degrees by your side, using a towel to keep your arm at your side.
  • Grasp a theraband, pull your shoulder blades back, then proceed to rotate just the forearm out to the side as-far-as-possible in your pain-free zone.
  • Then slowly ease back to the starting position, nice and controlled.
  • Repeat the exercise 10-15 times.

Shoulder External Rotation with Free-weights

shoulder external rotation side lying rotator cuff strengthening for shoulder pain

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  • Lie on your side on a bed or table with the painful side shoulder toward the ceiling.
  • Bend the elbow to 90 degrees with the palm resting against the stomach. Place a small pillow or towel roll under the elbow.
  • Raise the hand toward the ceiling as-far-as-possible in pain-free range while keeping the elbow at 90 degrees and the elbow to the side.
  • Then slowly return to starting position. 
  • Repeat 10-15 times

If you feel a lot of weakness with this exercise, you may start the exercise on the side with no extra weight other than the weight of your own arm and hand.

Once you become stronger to can add the elastic band, dumbbells or a jar of peanut butter for extra resistance.

Eventually, when you become good at this exercise, you may progress to the more functional and athletic exercise of shoulder external rotation with abduction.​

shoulder external rotation with abduction for shoulder pain and posture

Exercise 4: Three-way biceps curls

This is the most traditional exercises targeting the biceps muscles and the brachialis muscles with the elbow curl movement.

3 way biceps curl shoulder strengthening

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If you picked the perfect weight, you should feel some fatigue or light muscle burns after the thirty biceps curls. Then it is the perfect timing to relax your biceps muscles with the biceps stretch.

biceps stretch

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  • Place your hand on the painful side on a wall, a door frame, or a furniture. (Your hand does not have to be as high as the picture shows)
  • Assume a good posture by pinching your shoulder blades together
  • Then turn your trunk away from the outstretched arm
  • You should start to feel a gentle stretch in the front of your shoulder (the same area where the pain is)
  • Avoid over stretching.Keep the pressure gentle
  • Avoid hike or shrug your shoulder. Keep your stretching shoulder relaxed
  • Avoid rolling your shoulder forward. Keep your shoulder pulled back
  • Hold the stretching for 30 seconds, repeat as needed throughout the day

Exercise 5: Eccentric shoulder flexion

This exercise may look simple. However, it is a great starting place to train your shoulder to function together with better posture and muscle activation.

eccentric shoulder flexion shoulder strengthening

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  • ​Assume good posture in standing
  • Raise the exercising arm to overhead with or without free-weight
  • Then with your shoulder blade slightly pinches together and down, slowly lower your entire arm from the front over a period of 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 10 times
shoulder alphabet shoulder strengthening

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After feeling easy and strong with this basic exercise, feel free to progress to the shoulder alphabet exercise to strengthening the dynamic stability of your shoulder joint. Remember always to exercise with the shoulder blades gently pinched together for better shoulder alignment and stabilization.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you find this post helpful.

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