Pendulum Swing

Picture of the pendulum-swing shoulder stretch

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.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Timothy Bhattacharyya, MD
Last Revised November 30, 2011

Last Revised: November 30, 2011

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Timothy Bhattacharyya, MD

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