Shoulder Instability Exercise Basics [5 Keys for Physical Therapists]

By dpope2020

May 31, 2024

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Shoulder Instability Exercise Basics [5 Keys for Physical Therapists]

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In today's video we go over Shoulder Instability Exercise Basics [5 Keys for Physical Therapists]:

Struggling with shoulder instability examination? This video is for you!  Physical therapists see a lot of shoulder instability, and knowing the right exercises is key to getting your patients back to their activities. This video will cover the essential principles for exercise selection and demonstrate key exercises for both anterior and posterior instability. The first step is to identify the direction of instability. 

We'll discuss how joint kinematics (movement patterns) influence this. Exercises will focus on:

  • Strengthening the rotator cuff muscles, which stabilize the shoulder joint.
  • Targeting specific muscles based on the type of instability (anterior or posterior).
  • Utilizing closed-chain exercises (think planks and push-ups) for added stability.
  • Progressing to compound movements (like rows and presses) as tolerated.
  • Incorporating proprioception exercises to improve joint awareness.


  • 0:00 - Intro
  • 0:10 - Know the Direction of Instability
  • 1:26 - The Importance of the Rotator Cuff
  • 4:55 - Focus on Closed Chain Exercises Early On
  • 10:06 - Promote Compound Exercises
  • 16:32 - Challenge Shoulder Proprioception
  • 21:29 - Conclusion

Feels like an earthquake is going off inside of my shoulder...


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