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3 Shoulder Stretches to Relieve Tension

3 Shoulder Stretches to Relieve Tension

Your shoulder is home to one of the largest joints in the body. Connecting the upper arm bone and shoulder blade, this ball-and-socket joint is a critical player in upper extremity function and mobility. When the joint is compromised, it can result in chronic pain, range of motion issues and more.

Here are three easy exercises that can help you stretch and strengthen the muscles around your shoulder joint, decreasing pain, stiffness and tension.

The Upper Trap Stretch

Works your upper trapezius (neck)

  1. Start by standing or sitting comfortably with your spine in a neutral position. Make sure your ears are aligned with your shoulders.
  2. Place the back of one hand against your lower back and the other hand on the opposite side of your head. Make sure you are facing forward.
  3. Lightly pull your head toward your shoulder until you feel a slight stretch in your neck. Hold for at least 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

The Child’s Pose

Works your neck, back, shoulders and hips

  1. Comfortably kneel on a padded yoga mat with your knees slightly wider than hip-width apart. Your feet should be pressed together behind you.
  2. Sitting back on (or toward!) your heels, fold forward at the waist and rest your stomach against your thighs.
  3. Extend your arms in front if you, hands flat against the mat. Rest your forehead on the floor.
  4. Deepen the stretch by pressing your chest and shoulders toward the ground. Hold for at least 30 seconds.

The Rotator Stretch

Works your shoulder and back muscles

  1. Stand or sit in a comfortable position, posture neutral with your shoulders back. Place your left hand on the middle of your back, palm and elbow facing out.
  2. Slowly reach across the front of your body with your right hand, then grab on to your left bicep or elbow.
  3. Gently pull forward to deepen the stretch. Hold for at least 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

Always consult with your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen, especially if you have a serious medical condition, physical limitations or experience chronic pain.