Shoulder Stretches are important for both rehabbing and preventing shoulder injuries. Because of the rise of sport-related shoulder injuries, proper stretching is critical to improving shoulder flexibility.
The following shoulder stretches should be held for a minimum of 20 seconds, and repeated four to five times per session. The stretch should feel uncomfortable, but should not be painful.
Behind the Back Stretch (Inferior Capsule) - Place the arm with the injured/tight shoulder behind your neck, palm facing inward. With your good hand grasp the elbow of the injured/tight arm that is behind your neck. Push on the elbow until the stretch is felt.
Towel Stretch (Internal Rotation) - Place the injured/tight arm on the small of the back with the palm facing outward. Drape a small towel over your good shoulder and grasp it with the hand of the injured/tight arm. With your good hand pull the towel over the shoulder to stretch the arm up the back.
Sleeper Stretch (Internal Rotation/Posterior Capsule) - Find a comfortable flat surface, and lie on the affected side, with the arm at the level of the shoulder and the elbow bent 90 degrees from the plane of the body. With the good arm push down on the forearm until you feel the stretch. The goal is to eventually get the forearm of the injured/tight side to touch the floor or mattress.
Forward Flexion Wall Walk - Facing the wall, walk the arm of the injured/tight shoulder up the door until you feel a stretch (which is uncomfortable, but bearable).
Abduction Wall Walk - Facing sideways to the wall, walk the arm of the injured/tight shoulder out sideways up the wall until you feel a stretch.
Door Frame Stretch - Grasp a door frame with your hands facings upwards, elbows bent at a 90 degree angle. Keep your elbow tucked against the door frame. Slowly push forward until you begin to feel the stretch in your shoulders.
Return From Shoulder Stretches To Flexibility Training