Strong shoulders begin with flexible shoulder joints. The following exercises will keep your shoulder joints flexible and healthy. These movements can be performed lying down on a bed or floor. You can also adapt them to a standing position by placing your back up against a wall.
Straight Arm Stretch Exercise for the Shoulders
• Lie on your back with knees bent. Feet should be flat on the bed or floor with arms by your side.
• Slowly raise one arm to the ceiling with the palm facing the body. Keep the neck lengthened and try not to lift the shoulder toward the ear.
• Concentrate on keeping the shoulder blades together while keeping both shoulders on the bed or floor.
• Return the arm to the starting position and raise it three more times.
• The last two times continue to raise the arm, according to your comfort level, until it rests above the head.
• Try to touch your thumb to the bed or floor, staying within your own range of motion. If there is any pain, back off.
• Repeat the exercise with other arm.
Two Arm Reaches into “Flags Up” Exercise for the Shoulders
• Lie on your back with knees bent. Feet should be flat on bed or floor.
• Starting position: arms by your side with palms facing the body.
• Raise both arms to the ceiling with palms facing the body.
• Return to starting position. Raise both arms directly overhead keeping the shoulders in contact with the bed or floor.
• Go only as far overhead as comfortable, staying within your range of motion. Repeat several times.
• Return to the starting position.
• The next time, take both arms overhead and bend the elbows, sliding them along the bed or floor until they are in line with your shoulders, creating a “flags up” position. The palms should be facing forward.
• Extend the arms overhead by sliding the elbows back along the bed or floor. Slide the elbows back down into the flags up position and repeat several times.