The shoulders are a part of the body where pain and tension are common. Roughly a quarter of adults deal with shoulder pain or tightness annually. We use our shoulders for movement involving our arms, chest, and back every day.
However, the muscles in this part of the body are not always as developed as other areas. As a result, shoulder strain becomes a part of life for many active people. This condition can be remedied with regular physiotherapy techniques and massage therapy sessions. In addition, doing shoulder strain exercises can help reduce some of the discomforts when done regularly.
Here are eleven easy shoulder strain exercises to do at home:
Exercise #1: Seated Twist
Sit in a chair with your ankles under your knees. Twist your upper body to the right, placing your left hand on your thigh and making sure you get in there. Try to hold this position for up to thirty seconds. Repeat on the other side. Do each side three times.
Exercise #2: Shoulder Blade Squeeze
Stand with your arms at your side. Relax your shoulders. Make sure they’re in a resting position with no shrugging. Move your arms back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for a moment, release, and return to your starting position. Do two sets of ten squeezes. This will improve mobility in this part of your body, remove some of the strain here, and improve posture.
Exercise #3: Across-The-Chest Stretch
Bring your right arm across your chest. Use your left hand to support it. Hold this position for up to 60 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Do each side three times. This will increase flexibility and range of motion in the shoulder joint and the surrounding muscles.
Exercise #4: Downward Dog Pose
We like downward dog pose a lot because it’s a motion that can help stretch your shoulder and back muscles. Adapted from the yoga playbook, start by getting on all fours. Grip the floor and lift your hips towards the ceiling. Have a slight bend in your knees, keep the spine straight, and try to bring your head towards your feet, flexing your shoulders overhead. Hold this for up to 1 minute.
Exercise #5: Shoulder Circles
Stand up and allow your right arm to hang down. Circle your arm five times in each direction, almost like you’re stirring something. Repeat on the opposite side. This exercise increases circulation to the shoulder joints, warming them up and increasing flexibility.
Exercise #6: Eagle Arm Spinal Rolls
An eagle arm spinal roll is about releasing strain and strengthening the shoulders. Sit down and extend your arms out to the side. Cross your elbows in front of your body. Bend your elbows with your forearms and hands together. Bring your palms together. Hold in a breath for up to fifteen seconds. When exhaling, roll your spine and draw your elbows towards your chest. Then, open your chest and lift your arms. Repeat this movement for up to sixty seconds.
Exercise #7: Chest Expansion
Stand up. Hold an exercise band or towel behind your back with both hands. Move your shoulder blades towards each other. Lift your chin and look up towards the ceiling. Hold for thirty seconds. Repeat three times.
Exercise #8: Doorway Shoulder Stretch
Stand in a doorway with your elbows and arms forming a 90-degree angle. Press your palm into the side of the door frame. Place your right foot forward and lean, engaging your core. Hold for a maximum of 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Do each side twice. This will help with circulation and warm up the shoulders and chest.
Exercise #9: Thread The Needle
Start on all fours and lift your right hand towards the ceiling. Lower your arm to bring it under your chest and over the left side of your body. Activate the right shoulder to avoid collapsing into this area. Put your left hand on the floor for support. Dig in and hold this position for a maximum of thirty seconds. Then, do the other side. This not only eliminates shoulder strain but will relieve tightness in the chest and upper back as well.
Exercise #10: Neck Release
Lower your chin toward your chest. Tilt your head to the left to stretch your right shoulder and maintain this position for up to 60 seconds. Then, repeat on the opposite. To get in deeper, try placing a hand above your ear to gently guide the movement and make sure you’re releasing.
Exercise #11: Remind Yourself To Rest
Alongside these exercises, do not forget about the importance of getting rest. Resting your shoulder and avoiding overworking it will help keep inflammation down. If you want to up the recovery speed, try putting ice on your shoulder for fifteen minutes at a time, 3-4 times a day. Then, see if there’s any improvement after a few days of doing this. Be patient. Shoulder strains can require up to 6-8 weeks to fully heal. More severe strains may need 3-5 months with serious rehabilitation before resuming all activities.