5 Best Exercises for a Shoulder Impingement


Do you feel pain when you lift your arm up over your head past shoulder height? What about when you reach your arms behind your back? If you just raised your arm up over head to test this, nice work. Shoulder impingement, or in sexy medical speak subacromial impingement, is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain, tears, and other shoulder issues that just suck. If fixing shoulder impingement forever is the reason you came to this blog, you’re in the right place.

Why You Need to Learn Proper Shoulder Alignment to Fix Shoulder Pain

Here’s the truth: your shoulder pain will never go away until you learn how to put it into proper alignment or positioning. You can try injections, shoulder surgery, or some other so-called “quick fix,” (as a former chiropractor Dr. Mike has seen it all) but you won’t see any real differences until you put your shoulder into proper position to heal.

Most peoples’ shoulder blades are in an improper position before, during, and after a movement (such as lifting your arm up). Typically, their shoulder blades are rolled forward and shrugged up due to poor posture, which causes an impingement and pain. If this isn’t corrected, it can cause a tear, more pain, and other issues that we would really like for you to avoid entirely.

Why Is the Shoulder Such a Common Place to Injure?

The shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket joint, which means it has a lot of flexibility. This allows your shoulder to have a wide range of motion, but can also make it susceptible to more injuries if you don’t know how to align, to strengthen your rotator cuff muscles and to improve your upper back mobility. Causes of shoulder impingement vary and include anything from overuse to a sport injury.

The MoveU-Approved Shoulder Exercises to Get Rid of Shoulder Impingement for Good

Scapula Scoop

This exercise helps strengthen your serratus anterior and lower trapezius. It’s especially helpful for people with winged scapula. If your shoulder blades are winging out, that means your shoulders are not in a stable position, which puts you more at risk for shoulder injuries, shoulder impingement, and labral tears.

Here’s how to do the scapula scoop:

  • Lift your arms up over your head while drawing your shoulder blades down.

  • Draw your arms out into a “T” position while scooping your shoulder blades down.

  • Bring your elbows down towards your hips while rotating your armpits up towards the ceiling and keeping your shoulders down (notice a theme here?).

Be sure to check out our instructional video on how to scapula scoop for some additional support for you visual learners out there.

Scapula Scoop

The Doorway Pec Stretch

Tight chest muscles can pull your shoulder joint forward causing a shoulder impingement. Stretching out your chest muscles reduces the tension on your shoulder and encourages them into better alignment. Here’s how to do the doorway pec stretch:

  • Find a suitable open doorway.

  • Lift your arm up at a right angle while resting your forearm on the door frame.

  • Lean into the doorway with your upper body.

  • Feel a stretch in your pectoral muscles.

Wall Angel (or “V” to “W” stretch)

Not only does this exercise have a cool name, it’s also one of the best scapular mobility exercises out there to increase upper body strength and reduce shoulder pain. We love how it helps improve your posture and serves as an excellent warm-up exercise to improve thoracic spine mobility (we’re looking at you all who like to squat and overhead press). Here’s how to do the wall angel: 

  • Stand with your back against a wall. Press your butt, upper back, shoulders, and head into the wall.

  • Stretch your arms straight up over your head.

  • Activate your mid-back muscles while sliding your arms down the wall.

  • Pause once your elbows are just below your shoulders and then bring your arms back to the starting position.

  • Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions.

Shoulder Impingement Exercise

Thoracic Rotation

Improving your thoracic rotation is crucial if you’re an athlete or enjoying moving your upper body in a healthy way. This is a great exercise for baseball players, golf players, and tennis players, as it helps isolate the movement in your upper back (so your shoulder doesn’t do all the work when you’re rotating). Here’s how to do this one:

  • Get down on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.

  • Bring your butt back to your heels and drop your left elbow down onto the ground.

  • Take your right hand and bring it to the back of your head.

  • Lift your right elbow up towards the ceiling and then down to the floor.

Superman or Floor Cobra Pose

Here’s a great exercise to strengthen your middle and lower trapezius muscles, which happens to help you improve your posture. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do the superman or floor cobra pose: 

  • Lie down on the floor with your arms next to your sides, palms face down.

  • Slowly lift your head, chest, thighs, and feet up while gazing down.

  • Draw your belly away from the floor and keep your pelvis pressed into the ground.

  • Hold for 2-5 seconds and then release.

  • Repeat 3-10 times.

  • Next Steps: Join the MoveU Membership and begin the Shoulder Program!

Fixing a shoulder impingement takes time, patience, and the right support. Are you ready to take healing into your own hands? Check out the MoveU shoulder program today.

Back to Blogs



Back pain managed

In just a few short days on the Back & Core program I saw a meaningful difference. I felt freedom from my back pain related to muscle spasms that I haven't felt in several months.

Nov 9


With the revamp of the app, they are constantly working to make it the best version of itself. They take ideas and suggestions seriously.

Oct. 6

Knee pain is fading

I started using MoveU because I had nagging knee pain that bothered me when running, biking, skiing, etc. It was really bumming me out so I decided to try MoveU Knee, Ankle and Foot Program. I am about to finish week 2 and my knees already feel much better!

Nov 6

Comprehensive and engaging

The programs cover how to balace the whole body to minimize (or ward off any future) pain that’s caused by poor alignment. There’s an overall upbeat tone in the videos that makes you want to try your best.

1y ago

Better than physical therapy

MoveU is a great program and worth the subscription. I've used it to supplement my normal weightlifting, cardio, and yoga. The monthly cost is about the same as one or two yoga classes, so it pays for itself. The app is very intuitive and well built. I'm glad to see they put in the up front work, and they are continually involved in the content. If you want to fix your issues at home, this is the best way.

Nov 6


To all the people that have tried every intervention. To the hopeless and helpless feeling. After all these years of disappointment with the healthcare system, there IS a solution. Dr. Mike and the Moveu Team are dedicated to get you into your healing journey. Not just the physical but also the mental - which is just as important. I love how different this program is from everything else I have ever tried. Love you guys.

1y ago

Excellent Program

This is the fix for the long haul and I preach it to my family and friends. Going to a PT is great but they only work on the area your insurance allows which doesn't always fix the overall issue. Thank you Dr. Mike for creating this!

Nov. 30

Knowledge at your fingertips

Well worth the subscription. I am a chiropractor and I refer to this program for all of my patients. For every diagnosis Dr. Mike and his crew demonstrate an appropriate stretch and/or exercise along with the progression and regression specific to their level of recovery. I highly recommend this app to anyone interested in treating musculoskeletal ailments whether it be your own or your patients. It's one of the few apps purchased that I feel I got my monies worth and more, you won't be dissapointed.

1y ago

I appreciate MoveU

I have a bulging disc and I am very appreciative of this program and the knowledge I have gained on how body mechanics are all connected and what things to do to get better. I also feel the people really care about their members.

Nov 13

Most supportive and effective tool

This app is super easy to use. Love that I always have my videos with my on the go and the support from the coaches and community is invaluable along the way. Working through 4 herniated discs and it's the first program where I'm feeling hopeful and confident!

Feb 12

Loads of content

Great app! So much info to help you get to know your body and help you find your best alignment! Better alignment means less pain and more gain in life! MoveU has it all if you are willing to take responsibility for your own body.

Nov 11

Easy to use and interactive!

The app is clean, concise and very user friendly. On top of that, the coaches are extremely active on the community forum, giving you quick advice on questions you may have. Great interface!

1y ago

It works!

I love this program, and I'm not easily impressed. They know their stuff really well and it's designed in a great way with how it progresses. The core is especially a game changer.

Mar 11

Get out of pain - the ultimate solution!!

I signed up for MoveU because I had this nagging pain for years with absolutely no way of fixing it because no one ever broke it down and showed me how to understand my problem. I love the short classes was well as the deeper live classes. I believe that I'm a lifer and it's one of the most important subscriptions I pay for in my life.

Mar 18

Your very best version just a MoveU away 🙌

All in one app, to realign and reset your whole body. In the most natural, gradual, and far from the invasive way. I have been a walking injury from sports for 30+ years...I never thought I could find an integral solution.

1y ago