The best 3 Exercises to 'Thaw' Your Frozen Shoulder

We all know a frozen shoulder can stop you doing the most simplest of tasks; from getting changed to brushing your teeth. That's why we've come up with 3 simple exercises to help ease the pain and improve the movement you have at your shoulder. The more movement you can get each day, the shorter your recovery will be.


1. Pole-Assisted Shoulder Flexion

Pole assisted shoulder flexion exercises to help thaw a frozen shoulder

Holding a pole of some sort (you can use a sweeping brush), keep your arms straight and at a V to your body. Slowly raise the bar above your head until your arms are vertical. Your uninjured arm should assist your injured shoulder into the position, allowing an increase in range of movement.

Place your hands closer together on the pole or move them apart to alter the difficulty of the exercise.


2. Pendulum

Pendulum exercises to help thaw a frozen shoulder

Stand near a table to chair and rest one arm on it while bending over and supporting your weight. Let your injured arm hang down and gently circle it around in circles. Make the circles big but not big enough to cause pain. Gradually increase the size of the circles as your movement increases and the exercise gets easier.

You can progress this exercise by holding something in your hand to weight your arm down slightly. This could be anything from a dumbbell to a bottle of milk.


3. Child's Pose

Child's pose exercises to help thaw a frozen shoulder

Although not typically a shoulder exercise, the position your arms in along with the pressure of your body position to the ground, allows you to stretch out your shoulder joint overhead and improve joint mobility.

Kneel on the floor and sit back onto your feet. Reach forwards so that your arms are extended above your head and place your head on the floor. Reach out as far as you can whilst simultaneously sitting back into your heels. Try and crawl your fingers forward to reach as far ahead as you can.



Performing those 3 exercises regularly throughout the day will help your shoulder move and reduce pain along the way. It is best to do them little and often whenever you get chance. When you get more movement, you may be able to progress to more advanced exercises to push you along the road of recovery nicely.

Have you seen our frozen shoulder digital rehabilitation programme? It's full of information on what a frozen shoulder is, how to manage it as well as including a daily exercise programme with a pain and progress tracker to keep log of your recovery. Check it out below!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Arun Gray sports therapist strength and conditioning coach skegness

The author

Arun Gray is a sports therapist and strength & conditioning coach with over 15 years experience in the industry. He also has a personal history with chronic shoulder and back pain along with a range of other sporting injuries.

Arun writes about common injuries and aims to help people understand and manage their pain to prevent having to rely on national healthcare.

Read more about Arun