Shoulder injuries are incredibly common for people who work out. The shoulder is an extremely mobile joint, allowing you to perform a wide range of motions. Like every joint in the body, the more mobility, the less stability. This makes the shoulder very vulnerable to injury, which can create tight and painful shoulders.
Today I will go through the best stretches to alleviate shoulder pain. Often, shoulder pain results from muscle imbalances, where the muscles in the chest are short and tight, and the muscles in the neck and back are working overtime to compensate for them. The exercises in this post focus on stretching the chest, restoring balance to your muscles, and reducing shoulder pain.
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#1 – Top Corner Chest Stretch
I had Dan go through the stretches; first, the top corner stretch.
Move your hand up to the top of the door frame, with your right arm up and right leg forward. Do not twist the body. Look for a stretch in front of the chest and then step back.
Pec Stretch (Top Corner)
#2 – The 90-90 Chest Stretch
The next stretch is a 90-90. With your elbows a touch below shoulder height, place your forearms on the wall or the door frame. Step through with your trunk, with your hips not twisting in any way. Look to stretch your chest again.
Pec Stretch (90-90)
#3 – Low Corner Chest Stretch
The third stretch is the low corner one. Bring your hand down toward the lower corner of the door frame and step through with your arm straight and back.
Pec Stretch (Low Corner)
Pick the stretch that works best for you, or do all of them for even more benefit. Some people don’t have great arm mobility, so the low corner stretch might work the best for them.
Hold each stretch for 10-20 seconds, and make sure to do each stretch on both sides. You can do each stretch 1-3 times.
Tip to Hit Pec Minor When Performing Chest Stretches
To target pec minor muscle, which also pulls that shoulder out of centration or good alignment, adds a twist.
A tight and shortened pec minor can wreak havoc on your posture and your shoulders. When the pec minor is tight, other muscles in your upper back and neck will compensate for it, and this leads to muscle imbalances, pain, tension, and injury.
Do the 90-90 chest stretch as described above, step through and then add a little bit of a torso twist. Twist the upper body away from the arm you are stretching. This targets the pec minor better.
90-90 Pec Stretch with a torso twist
Stepping through, your hips and shoulders are square, then add a little bit of a twist to target the pec minor.
There you go. Pick the chest stretch that works best for you or that your shoulder is capable of and remember the tweak that I gave you in order to hit pec minor.
That is it, have a great day!
Rick Kaselj, MS.
If you, a friend, family member, or colleague has shoulder pain, then make sure you check out Shoulder Pain Solved.