AC Joint Exercises: Strengthen Your Shoulders and Alleviate Pain

trainer teaching the correct way to exercise to a woman ac joint exercises


If you’ve been suffering from shoulder pain or discomfort, the AC joint exercises can be a game-changer for you. The AC joint, or acromioclavicular joint, is located where the collarbone meets the shoulder blade. It plays a crucial role in shoulder stability and movement. By incorporating these exercises into your routine, you can strengthen the muscles around the AC joint, improve mobility, and find relief from pain. Let’s dive into the top AC joint exercises you should consider adding to your workout regimen.

  1. Shoulder External Rotation: Start by standing with a resistance band looped around a sturdy object at waist height. Hold the other end of the band with your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle. Keeping your upper arm close to your body, slowly rotate your forearm away from your body, against the resistance of the band. Repeat this movement for 10-15 reps on each arm.
  2. Scapular Retraction: Sit or stand with your back straight and shoulders relaxed. Imagine squeezing your shoulder blades together, as if you’re trying to hold a pencil between them. Hold this position for a few seconds, then release. Aim for 12-15 repetitions of scapular retractions to strengthen the muscles around your AC joint.
  3. Wall Push-ups: Stand facing a wall, with your palms resting on the wall at shoulder height. Slowly bend your elbows and lean towards the wall, keeping your body straight. Push yourself back to the starting position using your shoulder and chest muscles. Perform 10-12 wall push-ups in a controlled manner, focusing on engaging your AC joint muscles.
  4. Prone Y-T-I Raises: Lie face down on a mat or bench with your arms extended overhead, forming a “Y” shape with your body. Lift your arms off the ground, keeping them straight, and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Lower your arms back down and repeat for 8-10 reps. Then, move your arms into a “T” shape and repeat the exercise. Finally, move your arms into an “I” shape and perform the exercise again. These raises target the muscles around the AC joint and help improve stability.
  5. Overhead Press: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height. Press the dumbbells overhead, extending your arms fully. Lower the dumbbells back down to shoulder height and repeat for 10-12 reps. The overhead press helps strengthen the muscles surrounding the AC joint and promotes overall shoulder stability.
elderly man doing push ups with exercise ball ac joint exercises


Incorporating AC joint exercises into your workout routine can be highly beneficial in strengthening your shoulders, improving mobility, and alleviating pain. Remember to start with lighter weights or resistance bands and gradually increase as your strength improves. If you experience any discomfort or pain during these exercises, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional. Strengthen your AC joint and enjoy healthier, pain-free shoulders with these exercises!

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