Four Shoulder Strengthening Band Exercises for Aerialists

Updated: Apr 3, 2019


Some of the most common injuries in aerial arts and pole happen in the shoulders. The shoulder girdle in composed of lots of muscles that do amazing things like help us invert. These muscles can easily be neglected and can also become underdeveloped compared to larger back muscles like the lats and pecs.


I have selected a set of exercises that come from physical therapy and can be used to strengthen the shoulder area. As I have said my workouts tend to be a combination of weight lifting and physical therapy, just to keep everything happy in my body.

These exercises focus on the smaller connecter muscles that help with extension, flexion and abduction. Plus I threw in a couple of internal and external rotation exercises to get into the rotator cuff. You can use a band, Thera-band or cable pull machine for any of these exercises. We don’t want to lift super heavy in these exercises, keep it light and work up gradually. Aim for 30 on each arm, start with less and again work your way up slowly to prevent injury.


Flexion is lifting the arm from the side to about shoulder height. This works the top of the shoulder and the connectors. Keep the arm straight and the elbow soft. Watch for wrists in line with the arm.


Abduction is lifting the arm out to the side of the body. Keep the arm straight and the elbow soft. Watch the wrists.


For Internal Rotation keep the elbows at a 90-degree angle and pull inward moving the arm across the body.

Get the elbow against the side of the body and bring the arm to 90-degrees. Open the arm away from the body.


Extension begins with a press downward with the arm and shoulder. Start at shoulder height or lower and push the arm to the side of the body.


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