Muscle Imbalance Shoulder

Muscle Imbalance Shoulder

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Muscle Imbalance in the shoulder is a common issue amongst athletes, weight trainers and people who sit at a desk for most of the day. Almost anyone can have muscle imbalances. It occurs when one muscle is stronger than the opposing group of muscles. This will cause the stronger group of muscles to be overactive, limiting mobility in the joints and cause stiffness in the muscles creating instability in the shoulder.


  • Rounded Back (shoulders are hunched forward)
  • Limited Range of Motion
  • Weakness
  • Pain


If you’ve reached the point of feeling pain, you’ll need to rest the muscle. Once rested and the pain is gone, you’ll need to balance out the muscles with some exercises. However, if the pain persists, you’ll need to consult your doctor to get it checked out. It may be more than just an imbalance.

When I had pain in my shoulder, I went to my chiropractor who did several sessions of ART (active release therapy) on my shoulder. I was pain free for some time and then started lifting weights again. The pain eventually came back. The reason being that I was still imbalanced. The focus needs to be weight training the right muscles in order to fix the imbalance.

Shoulder Exercises

The following shoulder exercises should be completed with light dumbbells (to start) so that you’re able to do 3 sets of 10-12 reps of each exercise.

  • Front Arm Raises

    Hold dumbbells in each hand with palms facing you (same as in first picture). With a slight bend in the elbow, keeping your torso tight along with your glutes, lift one arm to shoulder height (parallel to the floor). Slowly lower back to starting position. Do the same for the next arm.

  • Side Lateral Raises

    With dumbbells at your side, palms facing inwards (towards you) and torso tight at starting position. With a slight bend in your elbows, raise one arms until shoulder height (as shown in 2nd picture), then lower to starting position. If you’re a beginner, do these one arm at a time.

  • Lying Reverse Dumbbell Flyes

    Lie down with chest and stomach on the bench and dumbbell in one hand, palm facing inwards. With a slight bend in the elbow, lift arm (perpendicular to bench) to shoulder level and squeeze shoulder blades together. Lower back to starting position. You can do these both arms at a time or one arm at a time.


Sources: All images by

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