Whether you are tight in the shoulders, recovering from an injury or simply want to strengthen the strength of the shoulder muscles, there are special stretching and exercises that can be especially useful. Incorporating shoulder-specific exercises and stretching into your entire exercise program can help you increase shoulder mobility and flexibility. These movements can also build strength in your shoulders, improve shoulder function and prevent injuries. Keep reading to learn more about shoulder exercises and stretches that can improve your functional fitness and make it easier to move your shoulders.


Mobility versus flexibility

Mobility and flexibility are often used interchangeably, but they are not one and the same thing. Flexibility refers to the ability of a muscle to lengthen. On the other hand, mobility is the ability of the joint to move through the entire range of motion. Although both relate to the total range of motion in the shoulder, it is important to know where the limitation comes from.


Shoulder mobility exercises

Performing shoulder-specific exercises, such as those described below, can help build strength and mobility of the shoulder and joint muscles. These exercises can also help prevent strains and subsequent injuries. Before doing any of these exercises, spend 5 to 10 minutes warming up by dynamically stretching your upper body like arm circles, arm swings, and spine rotation. “Warming up in this way is great for increasing blood flow to a specific area, which also helps with overall performance.” If you are recovering from a shoulder injury or surgery, work with a physiotherapist who can help you do the appropriate exercises and stretches for your condition.

Standing arm swings

This is a great dynamic exercise that helps increase blood flow to the shoulder joint. 

By doing this exercise as part of a warm-up before performing upper body exercises, you can improve the mobility and flexibility of your shoulders and upper back. 

Stand tall, keep your hands close to you. 

Swing your arms forward until they reach the highest level. 

Be sure not to lift your shoulders. 

Return your hands to the starting position and repeat. 

Do this movement for 30 to 60 seconds.


High-to-low rows

This exercise requires an elastic band.

Secure the strap to a solid object above shoulder height.

Kneel on one knee and grab the strap with the opposite hand. 

The other hand can rest next to you.

Pull the strap towards your body and keep your torso and arm upright. 

Focus on squeezing the blades.

Return to starting position and repeat.

Do 2-3 sets of 10 reps on each side.


Reverse fly

The reverse-flying exercise targets the upper back and chest muscles, which provide great stability to the shoulder joint. 

This exercise requires a set of light dumbbells.

Hold a dumbbell in each hand.

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.

Bend at the waist. 

Keep your back straight. Your arms will be outstretched.

Lift your arms away from your body. 

Focus on squeezing the blades. 

Stop when you reach shoulder height.

Slowly return to starting position and repeat.

Do 3 sets of 10 reps each.


Rotation with dumbbell

Dumbbell rotation allows you to warm up your shoulders for overhead movements and throws.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, while holding a light dumbbell in your right hand.

Raise your arm so that your elbow is at shoulder height. 

The front of your hand will be facing the ground.

Rotate the shoulder to raise the arm and weight so that the arm is raised toward the ceiling.

Slowly return to the starting position and repeat before changing sides.

Do 2-3 sets of 12 reps on each arm.


Shoulder mobility extends

The main benefit of stretching the shoulders is to prevent injuries to muscles and joints.

Since the stretches listed below fall into the category of static stretches, consider doing them after a workout or immediately after a warm-up that involves dynamic stretches.


Child’s Pose

Known as the yoga movement, Child’s Pose is a good way to open the shoulder joint in flexion (bending forward) and to stretch the latissimus dorsi muscles. The lower back can also benefit from this pose.

Kneel on the exercise mat. Make sure your body is upright.

Slowly crawl your arms forward until your arms are outstretched in front of you. 

Keep looking down.

Lower your torso to your thighs and your forehead to the ground.

Hold this position while taking three deep breaths.

Repeat 3-5 times

– Whether you are an athlete, a gym enthusiast or just trying to improve the health, strength and mobility of your shoulder muscles and joints, certain shoulder exercises and stretching are an important part of any exercise routine.


Performing shoulder-specific exercises and stretching can help you:

  • increase the range of motion
  • reduce tension
  • improve flexibility
  • prevent injuries


These are just some of the suggestions that can help you prepare well for your workout. You have more of these dynamic and static stretching exercises in the app.