Shoulder Stretching Exercises

Shoulder Stretching Exercises

If you have shoulder pain or injury, consult your physician before doing shoulder exercises.

Warm up for at least five minutes before stretching – a short walk or marching on the spot increases blood flow to the muscles and reduces the chance of tearing a muscle. Stretch until you feel a gentle pull – you should not feel pain. Hold for about 30 seconds. Breathe normally.

Pendulum Swings

Stand and lean over with arm hanging. Begin swinging the arm in small circles and gradually enlarge the size of the circles. Repeat 10 times.

Rotator Cuff Stretch I

Stand or sit.
Bend elbow at 90-degree angle, keeping elbows close to body, lower arms are pointed forward and parallel to floor, thumbs pointed up.
Move hands away from body until stretch is felt in shoulder.
Hold stretch for 30 seconds. Rest and repeat.

Rotator Cuff stretch II

Stand in front of doorframe bend elbow at 90-degree angle and place palm against doorframe. Move forward to stretch rotator cuff.

Rotator Cuff Stretch III

Sit or stand. Hands on waist, thumbs facing frontward. Bend at hips until body is resting on lap if sitting or parallel to floor if standing. Let arms hang toward floor to stretch the shoulder joint. Hold stretch for 30 seconds.

Back of Shoulder stretch

Reach arm right across chest, use left hand to grasp arm just above elbow and gently pull arm farther across body until you feel a stretch in the back of the shoulder.
Hold stretch for 30 seconds. Rest and repeat.
Repeat on other side.

Overhead Stretch

Place hands on edge of counter top.
Bend upper body at hips at 90-degree angle.
Reach and stretch shoulders.

Towel Stretch – Internal Rotation

Place right hand behind back.
With the left hand, dangle a towel behind the back.
Grasp the towel with the right hand.
Gently pull the right hand upward by raising the left arm to stretch the right shoulder.
Towel should be in vertical position.
Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.

Towel Stretch – External Rotation

Place right hand behind back.
With the left hand, dangle a towel behind the back.
Grasp the towel with the right hand.
Pull right hand downward to stretch the left shoulder.
Towel should be in vertical position.
Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.

Wall Climb

Stand about 18 inches from a wall.

Face the wall. Place the fingertips of both hands against the wall and walk the fingers up the wall until you feel a stretch in your shoulders. Hold the stretch for a count of ten. Repeat ten times.

Wall Climb II

Turn sideways. Place the fingertips on the wall.
Arm should be slightly toward the front of body, rather than straight out to the side (at about a 30 degree angle to the front of the body)
Walk the fingers up the wall as high as they can go until you feel a stretch under the shoulder, without too much discomfort. Arm should be slightly toward the front of body, rather than straight out to the side (at about a 30 degree angle to the front of the body) Hold the stretch.

Neck, Shoulders, and Upper Back Stretches

Upper Back and Shoulders Stretch

Stand or sit. Interlace fingers. With palms turned out, extend arms forward at shoulder level until you feel a stretch. Hold 10 for seconds. Rest. Repeat.

Chest Stretch

Stand. Place hands behind the back, fingers interlaced. Turn palms up and extend arms backward until you feel a stretch in chest Hold 10 for seconds. Rest. Repeat.

Neck and Shoulder Stretch I

Stand or sit. Tilt head sideways until you feel a gentle stretch through the side of neck and above shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on other side.

Tilt head forward until a gentle stretch is felt through back of neck and upper shoulders. Hold for 30 seconds.

Neck and Shoulder Stretch II

Tilt head forward and let it hang, keeping the neck and shoulders relaxed. Slowly roll your head to one side, slowly return head to front and slowly roll to the other side. Do not overstretch. Do not roll the neck backward. Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder Roll (strengthens and stretches muscles)

Stand, arms at side. Move shoulders forward, shrug shoulders up, and move shoulders backward – squeezing shoulder blades together, pull shoulders downward. Repeat 5 times.
Repeat shoulder roll 5 times in opposite direction – shoulders backward, shoulders up, shoulders forward, in one slow continuous circular motion.

…..go to shoulder strengthening exercises.



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