Do you have shoulder pain? Perhaps you struggle with limited range of movement in your shoulders? The shoulders are tricky joint in the body because it’s highly mobile. As a result, this wide range of movement can mean they are prone to injury and issues. Therefore, I’m going to share the #1 yoga for shoulder mobility exercise I recommend to my students and clients. Especially the ones with limited range of movement in the shoulder.
Pain in the shoulders can have many causes. For instance, tendonitis, torn rotator cuff/labrum, dislocation, bursitis, frozen shoulder, impingement, dislocation, osteoarthritis, instability, fractures and more. A startling statistic is that shoulder pain is the third most common cause of musculoskeletal consultation in primary care. However, if you have shoulder pain I’d always suggest seeing a medical professional before beginning ANY movement program. Ok, enough with the disclaimers, let’s move on.
Movement is very visual. As such, I have created a video showing yoga for shoulder mobility exercises which you can view below. On the other hand, you could go watch on YouTube. While you’re there don’t forget to like, comment, share and subscribe!
Yoga for Shoulder Mobility exercise
This yoga for shoulder mobility movement is called scapula retraction. It’s a movement our shoulders are made to do. However, many movements in our daily lives are creating imbalance in the back body. From commuting, to computers, to eating, and probably the worst culprit… the mobile phone. Everything is forward. Over the last twenty years working in health and wellness I’ve seen a lot of shoulder disfunction happen from the inability to recruit the muscles of the upper back. Time to wake those muscles up from their sleepy slumber!
The basic version of this yoga for shoulder mobility exercise will begin in Childs pose. From all fours on the floor, sit the hips back towards the heels. Resting the forehead on the floor. Interlace the fingers, and place the hands on the back of the head. Feel the elbows connected to the floor. To perform the movement, lift the elbows off the floor, then reconnect. It’s important to note that the hands WILL NOT leave the head. Aim to do at least 12-15 repetitions.
Head doesn’t touch the floor in Childs pose?
I know for some the head touching the floor is a tricky topic. Know that there is a solution. You bring the floor up to YOU by placing a block or folded blanket underneath your head. This requires a little more range of movement downwards but the premise is the same with the hand position.
This supported variation of Childs pose is a good alternative in general, for those not able to get their heads to the floor. And great for those with “forward head posture”. If this version is too tricky then consider the option below.
Can’t get to the floor?
Understandably sometimes it’s inconvenient to get down onto all fours to do this exercise. Or maybe you also have knee/hips issues? No fear, you can do this exercise seated or standing. I still prefer to use the wall as it gives us feedback. Either sit or stand facing the wall, again let the forehead touch. Interlace the fingers, hands to the back of the head and perform the exercise exactly the same as before. It’s important to remember this is for mobility not strength. We’re asking the muscles of the upper back to pull the shoulder blades towards the spine.
This has been the #1 shoulder exercise people in my classes rave about for how it helps their mobility. Not only does it mobilize the shoulder. It also assists with posture as we discover how to engage the muscles of the back body. If you feel like everyday life is starting to pull your shoulders down and round then I highly suggest you begin implementing this into your self-care regime. It also makes a great warm up exercise for “shoulder day” at the gym. Try it, and feel the difference.
- Do you have shoulder pain or movement issues?
- What joint bothers you the most in your body?
- Are any of your joints excessively mobile?