Tight shoulders can make it really hard for a person to do many exercises effectively, such as raising their arms overhead.  Because a lack of shoulder flexibility goes hand in hand with tightness in the thoracic spine, as well as pec and lat tightness, the following stretches will address several of those areas.

Making shoulder mobility exercises part of your workout routine is important, otherwise it becomes pretty difficult to perform exercises effectively and can also lead to increased poor posture, such as kyphosis and forward head posture.

Let’s get started:

1 – Rotating Thoracic Mobilization

Begin standing, with arms out to your sides.  Rotate one hand up towards the ceiling and bring your head and neck towards that side.

Inhale and rotate your palms and head the opposite direction. Be aware that you should feel significant movement between your shoulder blades, so that you can begin to gain mobility in that area. Your arms can slightly teeter totter as you breathe and rotate your arms to make this more effective.

Go slow and work with your breath.

Repeat 20 breaths.

 

2 –  Lying Thoracic Mobilization with Foam Roller

 

Ideally you will use a 4’ foam roller for this – fairly inexpensive, and well worth having.

Begin by placing the foam roller horizontal to your body just below the shoulder blades. Place  your hands behind your head for support.

As you inhale round your head forward and bring your elbows in together – trying your best to get them to touch with each repetition.

As you exhale, open up your chest and allow your head and elbows to fall back towards the ground. Your elbows should fall as close to the ground as possible with every repetition.

Repeat 6-10 breaths and then bring the foam roller about 2 inches higher up your back to repeat the above sequence. Continue to raise the foam roller up your back, until you reach your shoulders.

 

3 – Scratch Stretch

#3

You will need a medium sized towel for this stretch.

Begin standing. Holding a towel in either hand.

Raise the arm holding the towel overhead and then bend the elbow to bring your hand between your shoulder blades.

Bring your opposite arm behind your back and reach your hand towards your shoulder blades. Reach as far as you comfortably can and grab on to the towel.

Pull your chest out as you do this, and be sure to breathe from your belly.

Hold for 6-10 breaths each side.

 

4 – Modified Rockstar Pose

#4-1

Begin in plank position, with one knee making contact with the ground for support, but body still in a straight line.

#4 -2

#4-3

Inhale, lift one hand off the ground and begin to open up your chest towards the ceiling. Allow your head to fall back gently as you hold this stretch.

Hold for 5-10 breaths on each side.

 

5 – Bench Lat Stretch

#5

You will need a bench or a heavy object to hold onto for this.

Place a mat in front of the bench and come down on your knees, sitting back on your heels.

Stretch your arms forward to grab on to the sides of the bench as you sit back on your heels.

Allow your head to fall between your arms and breathe. Hold for about 10 breaths.

Try these daily for a week and see how these increase your flexibility and range of motion.

 

Yours in health and fitness,

 

Daniela Nahas

Co-Founder

Best Body Bootcamp

 

Disclaimer:

Best Body Bootcamp strongly recommends that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.

You should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in the exercise.

Best Body Bootcamp is not a licensed medical care provider and represents that it has no expertise in diagnosing, examining, or treating medical conditions of any kind, or in determining the effect of any specific exercise on a medical condition.

You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge.