shoulder mobility exercises
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5 Best Exercises To Bulletproof Your Shoulders and Improve Range of Motion, Says a PT

Your shoulders are incredibly important especially as you age. In this article, I’ll share 5 shoulder mobility exercises that’ll keep your shoulders strong and healthy.

The shoulders are incredibly mobile joints. As a result, they can often become painful and problematic if you have weakness or inflexibility in this body region. 

As you get older, this can lead to disability and difficulty completing daily tasks. Therefore, you should do everything you can to keep your shoulders healthy as you age.

In this article, we will review some of the best exercises for maintaining strength, mobility, and flexibility in the shoulders.

1. Side-Lying T Rotations

This exercise is great for increasing mobility in your thoracic spine and shoulders. 

By performing this move daily, you’ll slowly increase your ability to reach behind you, and you’ll address many causes of tightness and discomfort in the front of your shoulders. 

How to Perform

  1. Start by lying on your right side, in the fetal position.
  2. Next, reach your left hand toward the ceiling and rotate your body to the left.
  3. Keeping your legs in the starting position, attempt to rotate far enough to rest your left hand on the ground.
  4. At this point, your arms should be in a “T” position.
  5. Hold this position for 2 minutes, then switch sides. Perform this move once per day.

2. Double Kneeling Thoracic Openers

Much like the previous mobility exercise, this stretch is great for opening up the chest, shoulders, and mid-back. 

How to Perform

  1. Start with both knees and both hands on the ground.
  2. Next, place your left hand on your head, with your elbow bent.
  3. Keeping your right hand on the ground, rotate toward your left, attempting to point your left elbow toward the ceiling.
  4. Once you’ve reached the end of your range of motion, rotate back to the right so that your elbow is pointed toward the ground again.
  5. Repeat 10 times on each side, once per day.

3. Foam Roller Thoracic Spine Release

Most people really enjoy this “exercise”. Truthfully, all you have to do to complete this stretch is lean back and relax!

How to Perform

  1. Place a foam roller on the ground and sit down in front of it.
  2. Next, place your hands behind your head and lean back so that the foam roller is positioned on your upper back.
  3. Lean back over the foam roller as far as you can comfortably.
  4. If you want to add a bit of a massage component, you can use your legs to slowly glide your body up and down across the foam roller.
  5. Hold this position for 2 minutes or longer, and perform this movement every day.

4. Prone Y’s

The next few exercises in this series are terrific for rotator cuff and trap strength. These movements improve the stability of the shoulders significantly.

How to Perform

  1. Lie on your stomach with your arms straight out in front of you, over your head.
  2. Next, lift your arms up toward the ceiling, making your body into a “Y” shape.
  3. Hold this contraction for one second, then return your arms to the ground.
  4. Repeat for 10 reps, 3 sets, and perform this exercise 2-3 times per week.

5. Snow Angels on Wall

Last but not least, we have the snow angel exercise. Of all the exercises listed in this post, the snow angels on the wall are perhaps the most difficult. 

This move requires incredible mobility and stability in the shoulder region, and few people can perform the move properly on their first try!

How to Perform

  1. Start by standing with your back on the wall, ensuring that your heels, buttocks, shoulders, low back, and head are in contact with said wall. 
  2. Next, place your elbows, forearms, and backs of hands on the wall, in a “W” shape.
  3. Maintaining this position, slide your arms up the wall, making sure that no part of your body loses contact with the wall surface.
  4. Then, return your arms to the starting position to complete the rep. 
  5. Perform 10-12 reps per set, 3 sets per session, and 2-3 sessions per week.

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