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Pendulum Circle Shoulder Exercises Rehab

A Basic Shoulder Exercise to Build Range of Motion During Rehab


Updated September 06, 2013

Pendulum Exercise

Pendulum Exercise

Photo � E Quinn
Pendulum circles are common shoulder exercises used early in physical therapy rehab for shoulder injuries. This simple exercise helps regain range of motion in the shoulder joint and the muscles that make up the rotator cuff.

The rotator cuff is group of muscles that are often injured due to overuse and traumatic shoulder injuries, such as afractured clavicle (collarbone). A torn rotator cuff is also common in sports that require overhead movements, such as throwing or reaching.

Because every injury is unique, it's important to work closely with your physician and physical therapist to design a rehabilitation program that includes exercises specific to your injury, fitness level and fitness goals. Rehab exercise programs are designed primarily to help the athlete regain full range of motion and full strength to return to sports safely and quickly.

How to Do Pendulum Circles

  1. Bend forward 90 degrees at the waist with your uninjured arm on a chair or table for support.

  2. Let your injured arm hang down toward the ground.

  3. Make small circles with the hand of your injured arm. Let momentum move your arm around effortlessly for 10 circles; make both clockwise and counterclockwise circles. Keep your movements smooth and controlled, not sloppy.

  4. As you progress in your rehab, you can hold a light hand weight (2 to 5 pounds) while doing the exercise.

Also See:

Related Video
Stretches to Reduce and Prevent Shoulder Pain
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