Health & Wellness

The 5 Best Stretches For Tight Shoulders

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Have you ever noticed your rounded shoulders while sitting at your work desk? Does it ever feel challenging to reach your arms overhead, perhaps in your workouts? Ultimately, do you notice that your shoulders feel tight and less mobile than you’d like?

As a baby, your mobility was incredible. But as you age, you instill movement patterns, get injured, live with poor posture, engage in sports, practice sedentary behavior, etc. All of these can reduce your range of motion, and therefore, limit your mobility.

What is mobility?

  • Mobility means you can perform movements without restriction through various ranges of motion.
  • Mobility is a combination of increased flexibility as well as improved stability in and around a given joint.
  • Mobility exercises pair small controlled movements with longer held stretches.

The following five exercises signal your nervous system and brain that you are safe to move into these new shoulder-opening positions that will ultimately improve your shoulder flexibility and stability.

Try one or all and notice the shift in your shoulders!

Related: How Yoga Can Help Heal Your Low Back [With 10 Poses]

#1: Pec Stretch

Your pectoral muscles are your chest muscles that get stronger with exercises like push-ups and become tight due to rounded shoulders or poor posture.

This stretch at the wall is an incredible way to remind your body what proper posture and mobility feel like in relation to your pec muscles.

#2: External Rotation

Because of poor posture habits, your shoulders may have forgotten what it’s like to rotate externally.

This exercise combines a really deep stretch while also helping you activate your rotator muscles to increase stabilization in your shoulders. This is a great one for your posture!

Related: The 9 Best Yoga Exercises For People With Desk Jobs

#3: Internal Rotation

If you work on external rotation, it is equally important to work on your internal rotation too!

This one may surprise you. You perform this one laying down on your back. It may provide great insight into tension or tightness you didn’t know existed in your shoulders.

#4: Forearm Slide

This exercise requires a wall and is deceivingly challenging. It looks simple, yet it takes a fair amount of effort.

Performing this exercise is a powerful way to activate all of the smaller stabilizing muscles that surround your shoulder. In doing so, you will have improved posture and a greater range of motion.

#5: Arm Circles

This is another exercise that appears simple and easy, but it deeply engages the smaller muscles that support your shoulder.

At the same time, it improves your full range of motion at your shoulder. Move slowly.

When performed once a week or even daily, these five exercises will dramatically improve your flexibility and stability of your shoulders. You do not have to live with tension and immobility.

Add these 5 to your routine and notice how your posture and range of motion improve!

You might also be interested in: Top 7 Reasons To Go On A Yoga Retreat

5 Best Mobility Exercises for Tight Shoulders:

  1. Pec Stretch
  2. External Rotation
  3. Internal Rotation
  4. Forearm Slide
  5. Arm Circles


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