These simple stretches will increase your shoulder mobility and range of motion, while improving your posture.
Improved mobility and range of motion in your shoulders means better movement throughout your daily activities.
These stretches are all about finding the right range of motion for your body and your shoulders. When you find your sweet spot, you’ll then hold the stretch for 3-5 deep inhalations and exhalations, or for about 30 seconds.
As always, safety comes first. Follow any instructions from your doctor, and if you feel any pain doing these movements, adjust or stop.
Overhead Shoulder Stretch
Stand comfortably with the right side of your body beside the wall. Place the fingertips of your right hand to the wall at about shoulder-height. Then, slowly walk your fingertips up the wall. Only walk your fingers as high as is comfortable for you. Then, place your right hand to the wall. Next, gently lean in and slowly move your elbow closer to the wall. Aim for deep inhalations and exhalations and hold this stretch for 30 seconds or for as long as you feel comfortable. Then, release and turn to repeat the stretch on the left side of your body.
Stand tall with the right side of your body beside the wall with your feet spread apart comfortably. Place the fingertips of your right hand to the wall at about shoulder-height. Walk your fingertips back, moving along the wall behind you. Find the range that’s right for you, then place your right hand to the wall. Next, slightly rotate your right shoulder forward with your hand pressed to the wall. You should feel this stretch across your chest, in the front of your shoulder and down your arm. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds as you inhale and exhale deeply. Then, walk your fingertips along the wall until they’re in front of your shoulder, then release. Take a minute here to roll your shoulders up, back, and down a few times to loosen up. Then, turn your body to place your left hand to the wall and repeat the stretch.
Face the wall with your feet spread apart at a comfortable distance. Place both fingertips to the wall at shoulder-height. Slowly walk your fingers up the wall. Again, find the range of space that works best for you. When you start to feel the stretch in your arms, hold there and place both hands to the wall. Then, lean in and slowly move your elbows toward the wall. From here, you may want to walk your hands a little higher on the wall for a deeper stretch. You can also gently bend the knees to enhance the stretch in your shoulders. Hold yourself in whatever position feels best to you, then Inhale and exhale deeply for 30 seconds.
Face the wall and place your hands to the wall in front of your shoulders. Then, slowly walk your feet back 1-2 steps. Keep your back straight as you move into this position. Next, gently bend your knees and push your tailbone back. Then, lower your head slightly to lengthen and straighten your neck and spine. Aim for deep inhalations and exhalations and hold this stretch for 3-5 breaths. Then, walk your feet back toward the wall and return to standing tall.
Stand tall with your back against the wall. Raise both arms up with your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle, then place your arms to the wall behind you. These are cactus arms. You should feel this stretch across the front of your chest and in both shoulders.
If you feel comfortable and want to enhance this stretch: Inhale and slowly slide your arms up the wall. Then exhale and slowly slide down the wall. Remember to find the range of movement that works best for you.
Use these stretches after an upper-body workout of whenever you need to loosen up your shoulders. If you’re experiencing pain in your shoulders, try these moves to ease discomfort.
Check Your SilverSneakers Eligibility Instantly
SilverSneakers members can get hundreds of On-Demand video workouts and access to full-length SilverSneakers LIVE fitness classes and workshops. 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.