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Recommended Exercises - Phase 3 (Thawing)

By this stage you should feel ready to strengthen your weakened shoulder muscles. If you have been suffering with a frozen shoulder, your muscles won’t have been used properly for months, so take it gently.

In our experience, 60% of frozen shoulder patients are able to re-develop their muscle power just by resuming their normal every day activities. This is preferable. 40% of cases, however, really seem to need a bit of extra help. We have found that adding the following exercises will help:


The following exercises involve either using a small 1kg weight or using an elasticated resistance band. These should only be performed when the night pain has diminished more than 90%.

  • Stretching Using a 1kg Weight
  • Lie on front using a small weight
  • Lift the weight up and down slowly in a controlled manner. Then let it hang to the floor to pull on the shoulder joint.
  • Swing the arm in circles slowly using the 1kg weight as in capsular stretching exercise.

Elastic Resistance Band Exercises

Exercise 1:

  • Starting at waist level, slowly pull both sides of the resistance band (Fig 1)
  • Repeat half way up the chest (Fig 2)
  • Repeat as high up as possible
  • Repeat 1–8 times
  • Be careful not to let it snap back
  • Be controlled both on pulling and on relaxing
  • You may want to build up to this
  • If in pain, stop

Exercise 2:

  • Tie the band to a closed door handle
  • Facing the door pull the band backwards with a straight arm
  • Keep a slow and steady pressure

Exercise 3:

  • Perform this exercise by pulling the band apart behind the back
  • A towel may be used instead
  • Go slowly
  • Repeat 1–8 times
  • Change arms

Please Note:

The way you hold the band is up to you but try varying your handhold every 3 days.

Always try to use a high quality resistance band product.

If in pain, stop and rest.

Always take it slowly and steadily.

Download our FREE Guide to Frozen Shoulder