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Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Pendulum-Swing Exercise for the Shoulder

Pendulum exercise for the shoulder

If you have pain in your back, do not do this exercise.

  • While holding onto a table or the back of a chair with your good arm, bend forward a little and let your injured arm hang straight down.
  • This exercise does not use the arm muscles. Rather, use your legs and your hips to create movement that makes your arm swing freely.
  • Using the momentum from your hips and legs, guide the slightly swinging arm back and forth like a pendulum (or elephant trunk), then in circles that start small (about the size of a dinner plate) and gradually grow larger each day as pain allows.
  • Do this exercise for 5 minutes, 5 to 7 times each day even while your shoulder is still tender from an injury or surgery.
  • As you have less pain, try bending over a little farther to do this exercise. This will increase the amount of movement at your shoulder.

Current as of: March 2, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Timothy Bhattacharyya MD - Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Trauma

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