By David Thurin

Achieve Better Shoulder Mobility in Four Simple Steps


Ever wondered why your shoulders feel as stiff as a board after a long day or during workouts? You're not alone. 

But guess what? Getting those shoulders to feel loose and limber isn't as complicated as you might think. 

I've got some easy steps to help you amp up your shoulder mobility, straight from a cool YouTube video I found. 

So, grab your water bottle, and let's dive into these simple yet effective exercises to give your shoulders the freedom they've been craving!

Step 1. Start with Dynamic Exercises: The Flappy Bird

First things first, let's talk about dynamic exercises. These aren't your typical hold-and-stretch routines. Dynamic exercises are all about movement.

They get your blood pumping and muscles working, kind of like warming up your car on a chilly morning. And when it comes to your shoulders, dynamic exercises are the secret sauce to making them more flexible and less prone to injury.

Why is it Important for Shoulder Mobility?

Now, you might be wondering, "Why all this fuss about dynamic exercises for shoulder mobility?" Here’s the scoop: Your shoulder is this complex hub of muscles and joints that love to move. 

When you do dynamic exercises, you're essentially telling your shoulders, "Hey, it's time to wake up and dance!" This not only preps them for more intense workouts but also helps in your everyday activities like reaching for that top shelf or throwing a ball.

20 Crossbody Flaps - Your Go-To Move

Alright, let's get into the nitty-gritty. Our first move is what I like to call 'The Flappy Bird' – officially, it’s 20 crossbody flaps. Picture yourself as a bird flapping its wings; that's pretty much what you're going to do. 

Stand up, keep your arms relaxed, and start flapping them across your body, one arm over the other. It's simple, fun, and you can do it anywhere.

Benefits of The Flappy Bird

So, why should you flap your arms like a bird? Here's the lowdown:

  • Warms Up Your Shoulder Muscles: Gets the blood flowing and muscles ready for action.
  • Increases Range of Motion: Helps stretch and mobilize the shoulder joints.
  • Reduces Stiffness: Say goodbye to that annoying shoulder stiffness.
  • Preps for More Intense Workouts: A great starter exercise before you dive into heavier routines.
  • Improves Daily Functional Movements: Makes reaching, lifting, and stretching in daily life easier.


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Step 2. Incorporate Active Dynamic Stretches: Dips

Alright, moving on to the next step in our shoulder mobility adventure – active dynamic stretches. Now, let’s clear up a common mix-up: What's the difference between passive and active stretches? 

Imagine passive stretching as chilling on the couch, letting gravity do the work, like when you lean over to touch your toes. Active stretching, on the other hand, is like throwing a party where your muscles are the guests – they're actively working. It’s all about engaging and strengthening those muscles while you stretch.

The Power of Active Stretches for Shoulder Mobility

Active stretches are the real MVPs for shoulder mobility. They strengthen the muscles around your shoulders, making them more stable and flexible. It's like teaching your shoulders to be strong and supple at the same time. 

This kind of stretching not only amps up your flexibility but also preps your muscles for all the lifting, pushing, and pulling you do in workouts and daily life.

Dive into Dips: Your Shoulder’s New Best Friend

Now, let’s talk dips – and no, not the salsa kind. We’re doing 10 reps of dips, a fantastic exercise for active stretching. 

Here’s how it goes down: Grab a chair or a bench, sit at the edge, and place your hands next to your hips. Slide off the edge, bending your elbows as you lower your body down. Then, push back up. That's one dip – easy, right?

Why Dips?

  • Strengthens Your Shoulder Muscles: Makes them stronger and more resilient.
  • Enhances Joint Stability: Great for keeping those shoulders healthy and injury-free.
  • Boosts Muscle Activity: Gets those shoulder muscles fired up and ready for action.
  • Improves Upper Body Strength: It’s not just your shoulders; your arms and chest get some love too.
  • Versatile and Convenient: Do them almost anywhere – at home, at the park, or even in the office during a break.

Step 3. Deep Stretching: Pause and Hold

Alright, we've flapped and dipped, and now it's time to dive into deep stretching with the 'Pause and Hold' technique. 

The Magic of Holding Your Stretch

So, why bother holding a stretch? Well, it's like letting the dough rise – it takes time. Holding a stretch allows your muscles and joints to fully relax and elongate. 

This kind of stretching is super important because it helps improve flexibility over time and reduces the risk of injuries. It's not just about reaching farther; it's about teaching your muscles to be comfortable with the stretch.

Perfecting the 30-Second Hold Dip

Now, let's get into the nitty-gritty of the 30-second hold at the bottom of a dip. This move is all about control and patience.

  1. Start Your Dip: Just like before, use a chair or bench. Slide off, lower yourself down into the dip position.
  2. Find the Sweet Spot: Once you're at the bottom of your dip, where your elbows are bent and shoulders feel a stretch, that's your spot.
  3. Hold It Right There: Now, hold that position. No bouncing, no moving – just a steady hold. You're aiming for 30 seconds, but if you're starting out, even 15 seconds is a win.
  4. Safety First: Keep your form in check. Your shoulders should be down and back, not hunched up to your ears. And remember, no pain. If it hurts, ease up a bit.
  5. Breathe and Relax: Take deep breaths. It helps to relax your muscles and makes the hold easier.

Why Does This Hold Rocks Your Shoulders?

  • Increases Muscle Endurance: Builds up your shoulder's ability to handle stress over time.
  • Improves Flexibility: Gradually increases your range of motion.
  • Enhances Muscle Recovery: Helps in muscle recovery and reduces soreness.
  • Mind-Muscle Connection: Builds a better awareness of your body and its capabilities.

Step 4. The Box Shoulder Stretch: A Key to Flexibility

And now, drumroll please... we arrive at our final act: The Box Shoulder Stretch. This isn't just any stretch; it's like the grand finale of shoulder mobility exercises. It's simple yet so effective in turning those rigid shoulders into flexible warriors.

Why the Box Shoulder Stretch is a Game-Changer?

Think of the Box Shoulder Stretch as your shoulder's best friend. It targets all those tight spots that other exercises might miss.

This stretch is fantastic for opening up the shoulders, improving overall flexibility, and reducing the risk of shoulder injuries. It's like telling your shoulders, "Hey, it's okay to relax and let go."

Step-by-Step Guide to the Box Shoulder Stretch

Ready to stretch it out? Here's how to do the Box Shoulder Stretch:

  1. Find Your Box: This can be an actual box, a sturdy table, or even the back of a chair – anything that’s waist-high and solid.
  2. Get into Position: Stand facing the box about two feet away. Hinge forward at your hips and place your hands on the box, keeping your arms straight.
  3. Stretch It Out: Now, slowly lower your chest towards the floor, keeping your arms extended. You should feel a nice stretch in your shoulders and upper back.
  4. Hold and Breathe: Hold this position for about 30 seconds to a minute. Remember to breathe deeply. It helps in relaxing your muscles and deepening the stretch.
  5. Safety Check: Keep your back straight, and don't let your shoulders creep up to your ears. And as always, if you feel pain, back off a bit.

The Benefits of Boxing It Out

  • Deeply Stretches Shoulder Muscles: It reaches those deep, tight spots in your shoulders.
  • Improves Posture: Helps in straightening out that slouchy posture we all fall into.
  • Increases Range of Motion: Gradually enhances your shoulder mobility.
  • Relieves Tension: Great for unwinding after a long day or a tough workout.

Disclaimer: This is fitness advice. Please consult with your doctor before starting any new training routines.


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And that's a wrap on our shoulder mobility journey! By incorporating these four simple yet effective steps into your routine – Flappy Bird, Dips, Pause and Hold, and the Box Shoulder Stretch – you're well on your way to more flexible, stronger, and happier shoulders. 

Remember, consistency is the key. Do these exercises regularly, and you'll be amazed at how much better your shoulders feel. Stay Flexy!