The shoulder is made up of 3 bones, namely the collar bone, shoulder blade and the upper arm bone. These bones function in complex movements with the aid of muscles and ligaments. The shoulder muscles enable very diverse range of motion while allowing activities such as pulling, pushing and lifting.Thus the shoulder needs to balance between mobility and stability.
With this diverse range of motion also comes the increased risk of injury. It is for this reason that is important to build shoulder strength and flexibility. This article is a resource for exercises to increase shoulder flexibility.
When performing stretching or flexibility exercises for the shoulder, it is important not to ignore the rotator-cuff muscles. The rotator-cuff muscles are a group of very small muscles that act as stabilizers for the shoulder.
Table of Contents for Article
Shoulder Stretching Exercises – Main shoulder muscles
- Clasp your hands firmly behind you
- Keep your arms straight all the while and start raising them.
- Raise your arms as much as you can while keeping your arms straight
Shoulder Stretching Exercises – Rotator Cuff Muscles
- Stand with your hand behind the middle of your back and your elbow pointing out
- Reach forward with your other hand and gently pull your elbow forward
Shoulder Stretching Exercises – General Stretching Tips
- Have a gentle, slow and controlled motion at all times
- Relax the entire body; never go past the point of serious discomfort or pain.
- Breathe slowly and deeply as you stretch. Hold the stretch for the desired time
- Clear your mind and focus on the muscles being stretched, visualize them letting go and relaxing throughout the entire stretch.
- Never bounce during your stretch. This is the act of using momentum to extend your stretch. This almost always leads to injuries. Stretch slowly and in a controlled manner. Over time, you will increase your flexibility.
Caution during stretching exercises
- Never hold your breath during the stretching exercise.
- Never jerk or bounce to get more stretch. This will always lead to injuries.
Other useful resources for neck stretching exercises
Here are links to other useful resources that you may find useful on this topic.