3 Moves to Help Stiff Shoulders

By the Editors of SilverSneakers |

Improve posture, increase mobility, and ease tension in your upper body with these easy, do-anywhere moves.

You can perform these moves while standing or seated.

1. Standing Shoulder Flexion

Stand tall with your feet apart at a comfortable distance. Stretch both arms straight out in front of you with palms facing down. Then move both arms up toward the ceiling, reach as high as is comfortable for you. Next, slowly bring both arms down to your sides again.

2. Shoulder Roll

Stand tall with your back straight and chest up. Roll both shoulders up, back, and then down. Then switch directions. Bring your shoulders up, forward, and then down again. Repeat this move in both directions. That’s it!

3. Y-T-W Stretch

For this stretch, you’ll be making a Y, T, and W shape with your arms. First, stand tall with your feet pressed firmly to the floor. Stretch both arms out in front of you with a wide distance between them. Then, maintaining the wide arm-distance, reach both arms up toward the sky. If you look in a mirror, you’ll look like the letter Y. Next, move your arms down until they’re stretched straight out in front of you and bring your palms together. From here, stretch both arms out wide to each side. This is the T shape. Finally, the W. Start with your arms stretched straight in front of you, then bend your elbows, face the palms of your hands forward, and move your elbows back as you squeeze your shoulders blades together.

Repeat the Y-T-W stretch sequence as many times as you like. You should feel this stretch in your shoulders and chest.

Improving and maintaining shoulder mobility helps to stay independent and continue doing the things you love. These exercises also help to improve posture, which can lead to a better mood, stress relief, and even a confidence boost.

Check Your SilverSneakers Eligibility Instantly

SilverSneakers members can get hundreds of On-Demand workouts, wellness videos, nutrition tips and more. If you have a Medicare Plan, it may include SilverSneakers—at no additional cost. Check your eligibility instantly here.

Already a member? Get exclusive fitness content by logging in to or creating your online account here.