Remedial Shoulder Stretches

arm Arm CirclesStand clear of the wall or furniture.  Place your feet about hip distance apart. Circle one arm at a time.  Circle your arm 6 to 10 times in one direction, then change direction and repeat.  Repeat on the other side. Note: If you have a stiff shoulder or even a frozen shoulder, where you cannot raise your arm above shoulder height then do this exercise within your range of movement.  Breathe with the movement, inhaling as you raise your arm and exhaling as you lower your arm.  

 

The purpose of the exercise is not so much to stretch your shoulder as to spread the synovial fluid, a fine oily lubricant within the joint capsule, throughout the shoulder joint.  Synovial fluid is heat responsive and when warmed by movement helps to facilitate joint movement.

01 01b Shoulder Stretch 1 Starting position:Stand near a wall and place one of your hands on the wall at shoulder height or even slightly below shoulder height.  Press the hand slightly into the wall so that it doesn’t move. 

Shoulder Stretch 1

Inhale and as you exhale turn your body away from the wall by moving your feet and hip (on the same side as the stretching arm).  Turn slowly moving with your exhaled breath.  Let the stretch develop and in a few breaths you will find your are able to gain a little more stretch by further turning your feet and hip outwards.

 

Note:

This is quite a strong stretch so go slow.  Hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds or more.  The purpose of the stretch is to gently break any adhesions between shoulder tissue that is inhibiting movement.  

arm Shoulder Stretch 2 Having completed the first shoulder stretch return to the starting position, keeping your hand on the wall.  This time turn your body into the wall, bringing your arm a little more parallel to the wall and let a stretch develop on the back of the shoulder.  Turn slowly with your exhaled breath.  As you stretch you will be able to go deeper into the stretch.  You can turn your hip on the opposite side to the stretch in towards the wall to increase the stretch.  Remain in the stretch breathing slowly through your nose until you feel the stretch is complete. Note:

If you are very tight you can repeat the stretches , holding for 10 to 20 seconds at a time, up to 5  times.  If you are comfortable in the stretch and your shoulders are reasonably flexible and strong hold the stretch for up to a minute at a time.