10 Exercises to Relax Your Shoulders and Relieve Everyday Stress
Your shoulders may feel tight and stiff from more than just having incorrect posture or injuries. Such an unpleasant thing may happen as a result of stress, tension, and overuse. In these cases, some simple exercises can help to ease the problem.
We at Bright Side also feel tense in our shoulders after a hard day and would like to share some exercises with you that doctors recommend.
1. The chair exercise
- Stand behind the chair. Bend your back horizontally to the floor and place your right hand on the back of the chair so it can be straight.
- Your bodyweight should be supported by your right hand and your left arm should hang freely.
- Gently start moving your left arm in clockwise circular motions 10 times.
- Repeat the same exercise with your left hand.
- Finish the exercise with back and forth movements of your hand. It should be initiated with muscular force and you can even use a small dumbbell.
- The exercise shouldn’t cause any discomfort.
2. Thread the needle, pose 1
- Get down on all fours, on your knees. Your wrists should be directly under your shoulders and your knees under the hips. Point your fingertips to the top of the mat. Keep your knees hip-width apart.
- Take a breath, and while exhaling, slide your right arm underneath your left arm. Your palm should face the ceiling.
- The right shoulder should touch the floor. Now slowly put your right ear and cheek on the mat but don’t transfer your weight onto your head.
- The left elbow and hips should be lifted and the back relaxed.
- Stay in this position for up to one minute, then release by sliding back your right arm.
- Now repeat with the left hand.
3. Relaxation of the trapezius muscles
- Stand up straight.
- Bend your thumbs and place them under your trapezius muscles.
- The elbows should point up to the sides.
- Now deeply grasp the trapezius muscles with your fingers as it’s shown in the picture.
- Begin to slowly lower your elbows down without releasing the muscle.
- Now lift your elbows up.
- Repeat this exercise 2 to 3 times.
4. Finger walking
- Stand up straight facing a wall, three-quarters of an arm’s length away.
- Now touch the wall at waist level with your fingertips. Start slowly walking your fingers up the wall. Your elbow should be slightly bent. Raise your arm as far as you can. Work with your fingers but not with your shoulder muscles.
- Slowly lower the arm.
- Repeat this exercise 10 to 20 times a day.
5. Inward rotation
For this exercise, you need a rubber exercise band that you can make yourself from elastic materials or you can buy it.
- Stand with your right side against a closed door.
- Hook the end of the rubber exercise band around the doorknob.
- Now take the other end of the band with the right hand. Your elbow should be at a 90-degree angle.
- Start pulling the band toward your body. Hold for 5 seconds.
- Repeat 10 to 15 times.
6. Internal rotation
- Sit down on the chair with your back straight.
- Move the right arm to the middle of your back with your palm facing out.
- Lock your right hand with the left as it’s shown in the picture.
- Start pushing your right hand with your left, going upward, until you feel a stretch in the shoulder. Hold the stretch for 5 seconds.
- Do 3 sets on each hand 3 times a day. Increase the time of the stretch to up to 30-60 seconds.
7. Exercise with a towel
- Stand up straight. Throw one end of a towel over your right shoulder.
- Grab the ends of the towel with both hands as it’s shown in the picture.
- Start gently pulling down the towel with your front arm. You shouldn’t feel any discomfort or pain. Feel the stretch in your shoulder.
- Now hold the stretch for a few seconds.
- Repeat 3 to 5 times for each hand. Increase the stretching time to 60 seconds.
8. Leaning forward
- Sit in a chair on the side of a table with your shoulder against the table.
- Place your forearm on the table and keep it straight.
- Lean forward with your body to feel the stretch.
- Hold the stretch for a few seconds.
- Repeat 3-4 times for each hand.
9. Thread the needle, pose 2
- Take a hands-and-knees position.
- Now turn your head to the left side and start slowly sliding your right arm underneath your left one. Your palm should be facing the ceiling.
- Extend your left arm fully in front of your body as it’s shown in the picture. Touch the floor with both of your hands.
- Hold the stretch as much as you feel comfortable before switching sides.
10. Neck stability exercise
- Lie on your stomach with your arms by your side and your legs together.
- Inhale and tuck in the chin while holding a tennis ball under it.
- While exhaling, stabilize the shoulder girdle and stretch the arms toward the toes by lifting the upper body. Your arms shouldn’t touch the floor. Keep holding the tennis ball tucked under the chin.
- Hold this position for 6 seconds
- Repeat 6 times.
Which exercise do you usually practice to relieve tension in your shoulders? What remedies do you have to help you feel more relaxed?