Restoring Your Shoulder Flexibility
Posture is the leading cause of all non-traumatic shoulder problems. With correct posture, many of the most commonly injured muscles and structures in the shoulder receive much less stress than with incorrect posture.
These are muscles and structures that are not made to absorb a lot of stress, friction, and pull over the course of a normal day. By addressing any postural muscle imbalances, you will be able to avoid nearly all shoulder injuries.
The best way to correct posture is through exercise. Between targeted exercises and stretches, you’ll be correcting issues as well as working your muscles in the right positions and reinforcing good posture. Over a period of about 6 weeks, your muscles and nervous system will begin to recognize the new position and it will become less work.
Poor posture can also lead to increased neck pain.
Other common effects of poor posture include:
- Decreased energy – as a result of less oxygen being delivered to your tissues
- Shoulder pain
- Eventual breakdown of your rotator cuff muscles – poor posture does lead to tendonitis
- Rounded back
- Neck pain
- Substitution method to achieve “normal” movement, which is elevating your shoulder in the air instead of just moving arm up
Let’s explore some of the best exercises and stretches you can do to re-establish good posture and release tight muscles.
#1 Shoulder Stretch
Begin by placing your right hand behind your neck and back.
Take your left hand and place it on your opposite elbow.
Gently place pressure on your elbow so that your hand moves even further down your back.
Hold it for 1 to 2 seconds, then release it.
Repeat this 10 times per side.
#2 Back Shoulder Stretch
Place your right arm out in front of your body while making a fist.
Take your left arm and cross it under your right elbow. You’ll be making a fist with this hand as well while pointing your left hand to the ceiling.
Use your left forearm to place gentle pressure on your right arm.
You will feel this in the back and top of your shoulders.
Hold it for 1 to 2 seconds, then release it. Repeat this 10 times per side.
#3 Neck and Chest Stretch
Place both hands behind your head.
Begin by moving your head down towards your chest and allowing your elbows to collapse in the same direction.
Now, lift your head back up and bring your elbows out so they are pointing to each side.
You should be standing with good posture and you will feel this stretch across your chest and back of your neck muscles.
Hold it for 1 to 2 seconds, then release it. Repeat this 10 times.