How to stretch shoulders

How to stretch shoulders - main image

Overcome tight shoulders and shoulder pain with these great shoulder stretches.

Have you ever wondered how to do a proper shoulder stretch? It’s important to know how so that you can get your shoulder muscles and shoulder blades into alignment. Keep reading for 4 great stretches that will help tight shoulders.

1.) Cross-arm stretch

Cross-arm stretch
  1. Bring your right arm across your body, over the front of your chest.
  2. Support your right arm with the elbow crease of your left arm, or use your left hand to hold your right arm.
  3. Create a stretching sensation in your shoulder and keep facing forward.
  4. Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

2.) Wide leg forward bend

Wide leg forward bend
  1. Stand with your feet wider than your hips, and keep your toes facing forward.
  2. Lock your hands behind your back as you raise your chest.
  3. Bend your knees slightly as you engage your leg muscles.
  4. Bend at the hips, folding forward and bringing both of your arms up and over your head, going toward the floor.
  5. Allow your head to relax as you tuck your chin to your chest.
  6. Stay in this pose for up to a minute.

3.) Thread the needle

Thread the needle
  1. Start on all fours, keeping your knees underneath your hips and your hands directly under your shoulders.
  2. Lift up your right hand and bring it over towards the left, keeping your palm facing up.
  3. Put your body weight into your right shoulder and pivot your head to face left.
  4. Hold the pose for 30 seconds.
  5. Slowly let go and then return to the original position.
  6. Repeat on the other side.

4.) Cow face pose

Cow face pose
  1. Start in a seated position and bring your left elbow up towards the side of your head. Keep your hand facing down your spine.
  2. Use your right hand to bring your left elbow towards the right, moving your hand further down your spine.
  3. If you feel able to, bend your right arm and bring your right hand up to clasp your left hand.
  4. Hold the pose for at least a minute.
  5. Repeat on the other side.


These great shoulder blade stretches are sure to help your upper body and any shoulder tightness or muscle tension that you might have. Just make sure that when you’re in your starting position, you keep your muscles free from tension to ensure a good range of motion. If you keep at these, they can help you avoid the need for a physical therapist.

Remember that you can avoid an expensive trip to the physical therapy office if you keep doing stretches like this. It’s great to have a stretching program as well as your normal workout routine.


Is this supposed to hurt?

No, definitely not. If it hurts, stop and rest.

Are there any more stretches I can do?

Yes, there are loads of stretches that you can do. Why not try popular stretches like a cross-body shoulder stretch or a reverse prayer pose?

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.