Fraud Blocker
March 7, 2023
Author: Shelby
  • Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • Star Exercise of the Week: Table Slides: Shoulder Flexion & Abduction

Regaining shoulder range of motion after a shoulder injury or surgery can be a very slow process… You just want to get that range back now!

While it may be tempting to really push your range in order to get it back sooner, this can do more harm than good. Not only can it lengthen your recovery time, but it could also make your shoulder injury worse.

Patience is key!

When regaining range of motion, it’s important to go back to basics. This includes passive range of motion (PROM). PROM is when the arm is being moved through its available range by some type of outside force. The arm is not actively moving itself.

You have to be able to demonstrate full PROM if you expect to regain full active range of motion (AROM), during which you can voluntarily use the arm on your own without any outside help. 

Table slides are a great exercise for initiating PROM! While your arm is resting on a supportive table, you’ll use your body weight to move the arm back and forth versus making the arm do the movement itself.

We’ll be looking at how to practice table slides in two of the most basic directions that the shoulder moves: shoulder flexion and abduction.

1.  Shoulder Flexion Table Slides:

·     Starting Position:

  • Find a sturdy surface to position the arm on while seated upright in a chair. A kitchen table or counter top works well for this.
  • Make sure for shoulder flexion the arm is positioned forward directly in front of the shoulder.

·     Table Slide:

  • Using your body weight (NOT the arm itself), allow the torso to bend at the hips and lean forward.
  • This motion will slide the arm forward.
  • Only slide as far forward as the shoulder can tolerate, hold for 5 seconds, then return to your starting position.
  • Repeat 10x for 2 sets. Practice on the other arm, if needed.

**Tip: If you’re needing to work on range of motion on both arms, you can multi-task and practice both arms at the same time. 

2.  Shoulder Abduction Table Slides:

·     Starting Position:

  • Just like shoulder flexion, you’ll use a sturdy surface like your kitchen table or counter top.
  • This time, you’ll be seated sideways next to the surface. The arm you intend to stretch should be closest to the surface.
  • Position the arm to the side on the table in a relaxed position.

·      Table Slide:

  • Using your body weight (NOT the arm itself), allow the torso to side bend towards the table.
  • This motion will slide the arm out to the side along the surface.
  • Slide as far as the shoulder can tolerate, hold for 5 seconds, then return to your starting position.
  • Repeat 10x for 2 sets. Practice on the other arm, if needed.

Remember, never force your range! It’s okay if the stretch is uncomfortable, but it should never be painful.

If you’re working with a rehab specialist or have had a recent surgery, make sure to get cleared for this movement before trying it on your own.

We Fix Shoulders.

Get rid of shoulder pain in as little as 3 days...even if you've tried everything else and failed!

Whether you are pre- or post-op, the proven "shoulder pulley" method is the most affordable thing you can try to fix your shoulder. 

About the Author Shelby

Shelby Green is a Florida-licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), currently practicing at St. Anthony’s Resource Center Outpatient Rehabilitation in St. Petersburg, FL. Shelby received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of South Florida, followed by her DPT from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Shelby has 6 years clinical experience practicing in both the acute care and outpatient rehab settings. Specialties include orthopedics, with additional training in specific manual therapy techniques for pain management, as well as extensive training as a Certified Lymphedema Therapist.

Shelby is a Tampa, FL native, which is where she and her husband currently reside. Their favorite activities include spending time with family and anything outdoors, such as walking, bike riding, and going to the beach.

Medical Disclaimer

This website is intended to provide educational information only and should not be taken as medical advice. The information shared on this website is based on research, but is not intended to replace the advice of a healthcare professional. We recommend that you consult your healthcare provider for any specific questions or concerns you may have. The website does not accept responsibility for any harm that may occur from using the information given on this site. Speak to your medical provider about any health issues!

Have comments? Fire away...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}