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How can I make my shoulders more flexible?

Our shoulders are a very unique joint in the body.  The shoulder sacrifices stability for mobility, so it should have much motion, but it also can have many dysfunctions causing pain.

The first and easiest way to increase your flexibility is to focus on posture.  If you round your shoulders way over and try to lift your arm in front of you and over head, you will notice that you have less motion than if you are standing straight up with shoulders pulled back and performing the same motion.  Make sure to have good posture when working out.  When performing an upper body exercise, go until you feel a mild stretch and then push the weight.  Also, posture exercises to focus on would include rows, reverse flies and cobras.

Your muscles can get tight, due to over stimulated muscles or tight fascia.  In this case you can see someone for bodywork. Getting this released will increase your motion, decrease your pain and increase blood flow to bring in fresh oxygen and nutrients.

Do not forget about traditional stretching.  Anything from rolling backwards on the exercise ball, or using a wall to stretch  the muscles in the front of your shoulder will work just fine.

Make sure you are staying within normal ranges of motion and stretching should not be painful.  If you have an injury see your healthcare professional before stretching.
To increase flexibility of your shoulders and elbows, try the shoulder touch exercise:

Start with your hands touching your shoulders.
  • Extended your arms out straight to each side of your body. Keep them at shoulder height. Return your hands to touch your shoulders. Repeat this 10-15 times.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.