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Simple Band Exercises to Liberate Chronically Tight Shoulders

This is a simple exercise band routine that I've found immensely helpful for liberating chronically stiff shoulders.

The movement shown toward the end of the video where the arm is in a back-scratching position is especially helpful to those who have a history of experiencing pain in the shoulders while using the arms overhead.

You can find a light resistance band at a local sporting goods store, or if you prefer Amazon, I can recommend the red-coloured one here:

It offers approximately 10 to 35 pounds of potential resistance, but you need only a bit of resistance while doing the exercises in this video.

For more mobility exercises, please visit our YouTube channel here:

From our newsletter on this routine above:

You'll find the new exercise that I've been using over the past year to great benefit at the 2:47 mark of the video above, but I highly recommend doing the entire routine which shouldn't take you more than a few minutes each day, as the initial exercises are ideal for warming up the shoulder and scapular joints.

To describe it here, the exercise involves holding an exercise band with your hand behind your head as though your hand is holding a back scratcher, and with some tension on the band, taking that arm through tiny pulses.

I feel that taking the joint through active pulses while in this position helps to lengthen chronically tight rotator cuff muscles and tendons in the area, and also teaches the nervous system to allow for healthier underlying tone within all of the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint, including all three heads of the deltoid muscle.

Injuries and postural issues can lead to chronic hypertonicity in the deltoid and rotator cuffs, as well as the latissimus dorsi, so re-training the nervous system in this way should not be overlooked when aiming to restore optimal mobility.

Please consider sharing this exercise with family and friends, especially those who sit at home or work for hours at a time, and of course with elders who can always benefit from simple mobility exercises to keep their joints and surrounding tissues healthy.


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Dr Kim, do you recommend a specific brand, type of exercise bands? Thanks.

Dear Carol,

Thank you for your question.

Dr. Kim recommends the red one, 10 to 35 pounds of potential resistance, found here:

Client Care Manager