Shoulder circles are great to restore a normal muscle tension in your shoulders. Thus they contribute to long lasting shoulder pain relief.
I found this exercise very impressing as it shows you how good or bad you are able to control the muscles of your shoulder. Often I am astonished by how hard it is to perform small AND smooth shoulder movements.
Before you start, I want to point out a few things to you. These points will help you to make the shoulder circles very effective.
Basically you start to move your shoulder 10 – 20 times - depending on your patience ;) - in four different directions. Right afterwards you will put those movements together to perform the shoulder circles.
Sit down somewhere. It really does not matter too much where. What is important though, is that your shoulder and your arm hang loose.
Now lift your shoulder by the smallest amount possible and then move it back in the starting position.
Remember to move SLOW. It is absolutely OK if one move will take you 3-4 seconds. Slowly increase the amplitude of this movement until you reach your pain free limit, then decrease it again.
Do the same thing with the remaining three directions. Move your shoulder with increasing, then decreasing amplitudes 10 – 20 times downwards, backwards and last but not least forwards. And always keep in mind to move as smooth as possible.
When you are done with this, take a deep breath, rest for a minute and feel your shoulder. Do not move it, just feel and ask yourself HOW your shoulder feels now. Also feel free to rest and feel longer.
This rest is really important not because those movements are physically demanding, but because your nervous systems needs a brake.
Now, put the four movement directions together and perform small circles. Begin with the smallest movements possible, increase the amplitude until you reach your pain free maximum, then decrease it again.
During the circles, imagine there is a laser beam coming out of your shoulder and hitting the wall to your side. With that beam you can visualize your circles on the wall. Try to make them as perfect as it is possible for you right now. You will be amazed about how well that works.
When you are done with 10 – 20 circles, take a rest again. Then perform the shoulder circles in the other direction. Afterwards, take a rest, feel and then be proud that you took time to work on your shoulder.