3 Exercises to Improve Your Shoulder Mobility

Gain range of motion and lessen your pain with these simple exercises for achy shoulders.



For increased flexibility, less stiffness, freer and fuller range of motion, and less pain in your shoulders – try these three exercises daily for one week. Incorporate them into your regular routine, if you notice positive changes.

Standing Unilateral Chest Openers

  1. Stand sideways to a wall and place your palm flat on the wall with your fingers spread wide, your elbow straight, and your wrist in line with your shoulder. (Your outside arm should be hanging at your side, and your stomach should be relaxed.)
  2. Allow your shoulder blade to collapse in toward the midline of your body.
  3. Align your feet so they are straight and directly beneath your hips.
  4. Rotate your inside arm in and out from the shoulder without moving your hand or bending your elbow.
  5. Repeat 60 arm rotations, or do three sets of 20 with a rest in-between each set, if this exercise is difficult for you.
  6. Switch and repeat on the other side.

This exercise activates the muscles responsible for scapular stabilization. In other words, this will strengthen your shoulder and improve range of motion.

Cow’s Face

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and pointed straight ahead.
  2. Attempt to interlock your fingers behind your back. If you are not able to get your fingers to interlock, use a towel.
  3. Hold for one minute, then switch sides and repeat.

This exercise promotes scapular rotation and will give you a major boost in shoulder flexibility.

Note: Do not be surprised if you have significantly different range of motion on one side versus the other, especially if you have had a shoulder injury in the past. Do not push this to the point of pain, just breathe and do what you can.

Sitting Triceps Stretch

  1. Sit with your feet and knees in line with your hips.
  2. Reach one hand back to touch your shoulder blade.
  3. Bring the other hand to the top of your elbow and gently pull your elbow straight back.
  4. Do not allow the hand that is behind your body to move inward. Be sure to keep your head up, and stay sitting up really straight (don’t slouch).
  5. Breathe and hold for one minute on each side.

This exercise will stretch your triceps and promote extension thought your thoracic back. In other words, this will open up your upper back and shoulders.

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