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How to Liberate Tight Shoulders

Be sure to keep your core engaged and maintain steady breathing throughout all of these movements.

Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the ground, arms on the ground outstretched to your sides. While keeping your lower back pressed down toward the ground, raise your arms up above your head until your hands meet, all while striving to keep the back of your shoulders in contact with the ground.

In the same position, start with your hands above your head, fingers clasped. Strive to keep the back of your shoulders as close to the ground as possible, and move your hands back and forth, taking each palm down to the same side ear.

Next, with your arms outstretched to your sides, rotate your arms back and forth so that your palms face all the way upward, then all the way downward until they are flat on the ground - you want to feel maximum rotation in your ball-in-socket shoulder joints.

Repeat this same rotation drill while lying on an elevated surface like a workout bench, twin size mattress, or stacked gym mats - the idea is to have your hands slightly lower to the ground than your trunk while taking your shoulders through rotation. If you can do this comfortably, try the same drill while holding light weights in both hands - even water bottles or 2-pound dumbbells are effective in further improving shoulder mobility.

Still on the elevated surface, clasp your hands together and raise both arms overhead as far as they will comfortably go - the goal is to get your hands lower to the ground than your head.

Finish with dumbbell flys, allowing your arms to go as low as possible to stretch your biceps and chest, and on the way back up, imagine wrapping your arms around a large barrel.


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