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How to Chose Sets and Reps for Advanced Shoulder Rehabilitation

There are a lot of fundamental principles that help guide the overall rehabilitation process. One of the concepts that my friend Dr. Dan Pope and I swear by is the importance of structured, periodized, objective approaches to exercise prescription. We see it all the time in sports performance or strength programming that specific phases of a training cycle based on client goals influence

  • The specific exercises and movements trained
  • The sets, reps, and percentage of intensity of workloads
  • The metabolic demand and energy system targeted
  • The targeted training adaptation that is the goal

Unfortunately, there are many times when the same thought process seen in a strength program is not applied to formal shoulder rehabilitation. Dan and I have both made this mistake of not knowing enough about formal periodization concepts during shoulder rehab. Due to us dropping the ball, many clients of ours used to plateau in their progress or get flare-ups of pain when trying higher level sports and fitness exercises.

In an effort to improve our approach to rehab, we have spent a ton of time studying these concepts in the research, and also improving our approaches to exercise programs based on what we have learned.

To help people out, we wanted to share a short clip on why these concepts are so important and how they apply practically when choosing different set and rep schemes during shoulder rehab. By implementing these ideas it can yield huge progress to help clients get out of pain, reduce their risk of re-injury, and ultimately reach their highest level of shoulder performance.

Check out this video below to see what we mean,


This short 4-minute clip is part of a much more in-depth hour-long lecture that I made for our brand new online course, “Peak Shoulder Performance: The Ultimate Guide to Getting out of Pain and Returning to High-Level Fitness”. 

Dan and I essentially spent two years combining all of our thoughts on shoulder rehabilitation and helping high-level athletes we work with get back to doing the sports and fitness routines they love. We wanted to get some valuable information to the medical providers, coaches, and athletes on how to get over the hump in dealing with shoulder pain that limits their training.

Topics like shoulder pathomechanics, advanced rehabilitation, progressions back to specific exercise, maintenance care, and more are all rolled into a 13+ hour course. The course is all ready to go, and is now available. Check it out here,


Hopefully, you found this information helpful, and be on the lookout for the public release of our course Tuesday, October 10th. Have a great week!

Dave Tilley DPT, SCS, CSCS