Welcome to day 11 of the 12 Days of Stretch-mas! Today, we will be walking you through shoulder extensions!
This is the perfect stretch if you have difficulty reaching up to get things out of the cupboard or reaching to the side to grab the TV remote.
How does this help me?
When you bring your arm back into extension, you are stretching parts of your bicep, deltoid, and pectoralis muscles. These are the muscles that engage when you have to reach up or out. By stretching these muscles using shoulder extension, you’ll have less shoulder stiffness.
Ready to reach that top shelf with little pain? Then let’s stretch!
Shoulder Extension Step-By-Step Guide
To start this stretch, stand up straight with feet shoulder width apart. Keep your arms at your side with your palms facing behind you.
Once you’ve gotten ready, bring one arm backwards. Movement should only occur at the shoulder; your wrist and elbow should stay still during this exercise. Continue to slowly extend your arm until you feel a comfortable stretch.
Remember: this stretch shouldn’t be painful! Find a comfortable stretch and hold it for three to five seconds before returning to your starting position.
Perform this 10 times. After this, try reaching up again. Do you notice a difference? If so, do another 10-20 reps.
What if I don’t feel the stretch?
If you don’t feel the stretch, then it’s time to progress! For this, you will need a foam roller (which you can buy in our clinic!) or a countertop. For this example, we’ll say you’re using a countertop.
Stand slightly (1-2 steps depending on your height) in front of your countertop and set your hand down on the countertop with your palm facing up. In this position, you shouldn’t feel a stretch yet.
Next, take a step out using the leg on the same side. For example, if you are stretching your left arm, take a step out with your left leg. Be sure to avoid overstepping, this step should be about the size of a stretch you’d take when walking around.
Once you feel stable in this position, you can move into a lunge. Hold this position for 3-5 seconds before getting out of the lunge and stepping back to center.
Repeat this for 10 repetitions and see if you notice a difference!
We love this stretch because it is a simple stretch that you can do anywhere. Whenever you notice your shoulder getting stiff again, try a few of these! Or better yet – add this to your daily stretching routine!
Ready for the next stretch? Come back tomorrow for the final day of Stretch-mas!