Traditionally, when you are doing Pilates, you are focusing on multiple parts of your body.  However, the beauty of this type of exercise is that you can choose to focus on specific body parts at any point in time.  Therefore, you can easily choose to do Pilates moves that focus on your abs, your back, and even your shoulders.  

5 Pilates Moves to Heal a Shoulder Injury


Planks are the most basic Pilates move that you can do, and while you may think that they will be the worst thing you can do for your shoulder pain, they are not.  The plank will actually help you build up the strength in your shoulder muscles once again. 

Start by getting down on your hands and knees.  Place your hands on the floor in front of you and extend both legs behind you.  You will balance carefully on the balls of your feet and you should look like you are about to start doing a few push-ups.  It is very important to make sure that you keep your head, back, hips, and legs in one straight line or you will hurt your shoulders.  If you cannot push up on your hands yet, then use your forearms to keep you in a straight line.  

I recommend holding this pose for as long as you can and repeat up to ten times.  If you are just starting out, the time you can hold the pose may only be a few seconds, but as you keep repeating it over the next few days, you should start to hold it longer.  

Scapula Isolation

There is very little range of motion needed for this Pilates move, so you can start this exercise early on in your recovery.  It also only requires the smaller muscles in the center of your back, so you do not need to worry that you will overdo things too quickly.  

Begin by laying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor at the same distance as your hips.  With your palms facing in, raise your hands up to the ceiling. As you are doing this, you need to keep your head down, but raise your shoulders up off of the mat at the same time.  It is important that you inhale as you reach up and exhale as you put your shoulders back onto the mat.  

I recommend starting with five reps of this Pilates move and slowly working your way up to ten. 

Arms Reach and Pull

The Arms Reach and Pull is a simple Pilates move that you can easily do as you are recovering from a shoulder injury.  

You will begin by standing up straight and placing your feet together.  Your spine should be as long as you can get it and you must push your chest forward a little bit.  As you raise your chin a little, you will relax your shoulders and allow your arms to drop-down next to your side.  While taking a deep breath in, you will raise your arms in front of you, so they are parallel with the floor, and then stretch them forward a little bit further.  Exhale as you pull your arms back and then push your shoulders together as you try to get them to touch each other.  

I recommend repeating this twenty times, as it is a great stretching exercise that utilizes calming breaths.  


As you are continuing with your recovery, you will find that you will easily be capable of doing the Zip-Up Pilates move.  This Pilates exercise does involve dumbbells, but you can use other objects if you do not have any.  

To do this exercise, simply grab your dumbbells and stand up straight.  As you are holding onto your dumbbells, put your arms down in front of you with your palms facing your legs.  Keep your hands and the dumbbells close together, near the middle of your body, and lift only your elbows to bring the dumbbells up to your chest.  It is important to not move your shoulders as you are bringing the dumbbells up. Lower the dumbbells and then repeat. 


I recommend doing ten of these at first and then working your way up to twenty.  

Arm Circles

Arm Circles are really easy to do and you can do this type of Pilates move at almost any point during your recovery.  

This exercise will have you standing up straight with your arms out to your sides.  Your arms should be at the height of your shoulders and you need to keep the palms of your hands facing the floor.  As you are making sure that you are not hyperextending your arms, make little circles in both directions.  

I recommend doing twenty circles to the back and another twenty to the front to begin.  

These five PIlates moves will have you conquering your shoulder injury once and for all, while also allowing you to build up strength and muscle at the same time.  The best part about these is that they are easy to do and they won’t take up a lot of your time.