Quick Pilates shoulder workout to prevent injury

If you’ve ever spent time in a gym, you might have noticed that while most of us aren’t walking around with actively injured shoulders, many of us seem to have a little niggling shoulder “thing.”

And you’d be right.

While it’s not ongoing pain, many of us become aware of what our neck and shoulders are doing as we move throughout our day, because something seems a bit…off.

Sometimes it feels like a build up of tension when you drive or sit for too long.

Other times, it might be that you notice your shoulder clicking or popping when you do push ups.

Or maybe you notice the increasing tightness of your upper traps when you lift weights/cook/clean/carrying your purse on one shoulder for too long.

If you’re noticing these things, it’s not a crisis and you’re not broken.

However, it is a sign that your might benefit from doing a little more shoulder stability work to train the small muscles responsible for holding your arms in good alignment, so the big muscles around your neck and shoulders (think pecs and upper traps) don’t have to work so hard.

And I appreciate that we’re all busy people and sometimes we just want to get to the “big” stuff in our workout, because it feels more like something is happening.

I also understand that sometimes you know it would be good to do something for your shoulders, but you’re not really sure where to start, because there are so many exercises and modalities out there and it’s confusing!

So with that in mind, I’ve put together a quick shoulder strength routine using Pilates mat exercises. It starts by targeting the major stabilizers and ends with some more challenging exercises to integrate the work like a modified push up series and planks.

It’s 6 minutes. It won’t make you sweat, but it will show you how to rock a push up without cranky wrists and keep your arms and shoulders in good alignment when you lift heavy objects/pick up your kid/help your friend move 😉

Try it as part of your next workout or when you notice you’ve been at the computer for a little too long.

Pilates mat exercises | upper body workout

Pilates mat exercises | upper body workout

Workout Sequence

6-8 sternum drops

pilates mat exercises upper body workout

4-6 sets puppy in the snow

pilates mat exercises upper body workout

6-8 modified push-ups

pilates mat exercises upper body workout

6-8 swan prep

pilates mat exercises upper body workout

4-8 plank to pike

pilates mat exercises upper body workout

There are 2 comments on this post

  1. Ashley Warren
    9 mins ago

    great exercises and explanations! I always enjoy your tutorials and how you show the correct way to perform the exercise and some potential ways it might be done incorrectly–super helpful! keep up the good work, it is much appreciated.

    1. Nikki Naab-Levy Author
      5 hours ago

      Hi Ashley,

      Thanks for the feedback! I’m so glad you find the tutorials helpful 🙂




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