Shoulder injuries are common in paddling. There is no substitute for working with a great trainer or physical therapist to either recover from or avoid injury. Those that have worked with a pro know how effective small movements, done consistently over time can make huge changes.
Here are a few exercises that will keep your shoulders healthy for paddling.
This video shows how to remedy a very common issue with paddlers.
Ys, Ts and Is strengthen the key shoulder muscles used in paddling. You can do them with resistance bands, but the TRX has advantages. With the TRX you can make micro adjustments in the amount of stress on your should by simply moving your feet closer to the attachment point. It's very easy to fatigue your shoulders in 3 sets of 12-15 reps. Don't overdo these. Three times a week is optimal. Without enough rest between sessions, you will get worse results.
Add external and Internal rotations to the Ys, Ts and I and you'll have a good shoulder saving and strengthening routine. You can use a band, or some prefer weights.
Your pectoral muscles can be a major actor in your shoulder pain. To test this, try rolling your pecs as in the video below. If you find a ropey, tight muscle, focus your rolling there. Two minutes after a paddle and/or two minutes every day can release that muscle and reduce your shoulder tightness.
The deltoid release paired with the pectoral release can add years to your paddling. Roll and search for a ropey tight muscle and focus on it. Two minutes after a paddle and/or two minutes every day can release that muscle and reduce your shoulder tightness.
Rolling your lats releases the strain on your shoulders. It is very painful when you start, but if you stick with it, your lats will release and your shoulders with thank you.