Shoulder Warm Up Exercises

Woman and trainer practicing shoulder warm up exercises | Featured image for Shoulder Warm Up Exercises blog for Pivotal Motion Physiotherapy.

Shoulder Warm Up Exercises

The shoulder is a very complex joint, it gives us a lot of movement but it gives up stability for this. It’s important that the shoulder remains healthy in order for us to be performing pain free. Before exercise it’s crucial that we warm up the shoulder joint appropriately to reduce our injury risk. The shoulder is a ball and socket joint. It gives us lot of movement because of this, but it comes at a cost. The extra movement that it provides us reduces the stability of the joint. This is why shoulder injuries are quite common, whether or not you play a contact or non-contact sport. We use the shoulder in every sport and therefor the following exercises can be used for all sports. Here are some shoulder warm up exercises.

Arm circles

This is quick and easy to get the blood moving to your shoulders. Start with small movements and then build to bigger circles. You can mix it up and have both arms going in different directions. This will also stimulate the neuromuscular system and your coordination.

Banded internal and external rotations

You’ll need a theraband for this exercise. Tie it to a pole and tuck your arm into your side. Bend your elbow to 90 degrees and slowly rotate your arm out and in. This exercise warms up your rotator cuff, which plays an important role in the stability of your scapula during movement.

Prehab with Butch (Physiotherapist)







Band pull aparts

You’ll also need a theraband for this one. Place one end of the band in each hand and slowly pull the band apart. This will target some of the muscles around your scapula and warm up your upper back.

Man holding red exercise band






Serratus wall slide

This exercise targets the serratus anterior muscle, which is very important for scapula stability. Use a theraband and place it around your wrists. Slightly abduct your shoulders and slide your arms up the wall keeping the force through the band. You will feel this around your shoulders and upper back.

Man with red bands stretching







After these shoulder warm up exercises it’s time to move onto some more sports specific drills like throwing or some gentle swimming strokes, or some shoulder press variations. If you do these exercises before activity your shoulder will be happy and healthy and ready to perform. If you’ve got any questions contact our exercise physiologists today.

Looking For More Help?

Looking for more tips and ideas to help improve and maintain your bodies strength and mobility? Our dedicated and experienced physiotherapy Brisbane team are always ready to help you move and feel better! Contact us today by calling 07 3352 5116, emailing or by booking today!


Updated 17/12/2022

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