Updated: Jan 21
The shoulder joint is the most mobile in the body. However, with more mobility comes less stability. Whether it is to keep up with your joint health or to bring a deep stretch in after a long day's work, try out these 4 shoulder stretches!
1. Eagle Arms
Start in a seated position bringing your arms in front of you. Wrap your right arm under the left and either reach for opposite shoulders or find a double bind bringing your forearms to wrap as well. Keeping this twist in your arms push your elbows away from your body.
This will create an opening between your shoulder blades that you can feel happening in your back. Hold for a few seconds then take it to the next side, wrapping your left arm underneath your right arm and repeating the steps.
2. Cactus Backbend
Whether seated or standing, start by reach your arms up overhead. Spread your fingers to engage your arms and then bend your elbows pulling the hands close to either sides of your shoulders. Pull the spine into this pose by sending your hips forward and head back, shining your chest up.
This stretch pulls the shoulder blades together, opening the chest, and arching the upper back. It is great when pairing it after any stretch that rounds your spine to create balance.
3. Thread the Needle in Childs Pose
Begin in Childs Pose seated on your knees, with outreached arms and your forehead connected to the mat. On an inhale reach your right arm high, opening your chest and turning your gaze to the side. As you exhale, scoop your right arm back down weaving under your chest and reaching out to the left. This will bring your right shoulder and right side of your head to rest down, in turn, stretching this side's shoulder. Repeat these steps for your left side to even out your body, and stretch both shoulders.
4. Binded Rag Doll Pose
Beginning in a forward fold, hug your nose to your knees and wrap your arms around your calves. Reach your arms up on either side of your body and clasp them together at your tailbone. Option to lift and lower this grip to the length of your spine to roll out the shoulders as you squeeze them together.
Modification: If there is any pinching or strain when attempting to clasp your hand at your low back, grab a yoga strap or small towel and hold the ends of it. Use this instead of the grip, to pull the shoulders blades together and roll them out.