The shoulder is a complicated joint that is prone to injury. Bracing for a fall, or even muscle tightness, can expose the shoulder to pain and potential damage.
Arthritis, tears, and tendinitis are too often the name of the game when it comes to shoulders. However, this doesn’t have to be your future. Supple, flexible shoulders can limit the risk of injury and vastly promote independence and a higher quality of life.
Painful, tight, or immobile shoulders can make simple movements a real struggle. Getting dressed, reaching cabinets, or even opening doors can become a severe challenge.
But if you regularly stretch your shoulders, good things can happen. Stretching muscles encourages greater support, mobility, range of motion, and functionality. When you stretch to loosen up tight muscles, life gets a lot easier for your shoulder joints.
Here are a few static stretches that can improve shoulder function, reduce the chances of pain, and help you keep living at a high level.
Wall Climb: Stand up facing a wall a little less than arm’s length away. Softly extend your arm—the elbow is not locked out—so your hand touches the wall at about shoulder height.
Slowly walk your fingers up the wall, stepping closer as your hand gets higher. Stop when you feel mild tension in the shoulder and hold for 10–30 seconds. Slowly walk fingers back down the wall (stepping back accordingly).
Do these three or four times for each arm.
Chest and Shoulder Stretch: Stand beside a doorway or wall and put your right hand on the edge of the doorframe, slightly below shoulder level. Your palm should be facing forwards and touching the frame, and your shoulders should be down and back.
Slowly turn your body to the left, away from the frame, until you feel a stretch in your chest and shoulder. Hold it for 10–30 seconds before returning to the starting position.
Perform the stretch three or four times per side.
These two stretches, and others, can help keep your shoulder muscles supple to support the joint and prevent injury. Look up some other stretches and help increase your quality of life!