Best Mobility Exercises For Shoulders In Pain

Are you struggling with improving shoulder mobility? Then you came to the right place. Flexibility and mobility are two very different beasts. Mobility is your ability to use your flexibility. Here are 6 great exercises to improve your shoulder mobility.

Thread the Needle

Start on your hands and knees. Take one arm and slide it under your body. Reach as far as you can. This gets the whole shoulder and upper back mobile.

Your shoulder and head should rest on the ground. Hold it for a few seconds. Perform multiple reps Then switch arms. This is one of the best shoulder mobility exercises. It should help make your shoulders feel loose.

Shoulder Dislocation Exercise

Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds! Grab a broomstick, a long towel, or a resistance band. Hold it with both hands in front of you.

Keep your arms straight and slowly lift them over your head. Keep going until the stick or towel is behind your back. Bring it back to the front. Do this a few times. This exercise helps increase shoulder mobility. This is a great mobility exercise for CrossFit specifically. CrossFit requires extreme mobility and strength of the shoulders. That makes this a fantastic exercise for immobile shoulders, especially in CrossFit athletes.

Prone IYTs

Lie on your stomach. Stretch your arms out in front of you like you’re flying. First, make an “I” with your arms. Lift them and hold them for a few seconds. Then, make a “Y” shape with your arms. Lift and hold again.

Finally, make a “T” shape. Lift and hold. These movements are great mobility exercises for the shoulders. They strengthen your traps and lats at their end range of motion. Gaining strength in this position is important to improve your shoulder mobility.

Bench-Supported Dumbbell ER

Grab a light dumbbell. Lie on a bench with your chest supported. Hold the dumbbell in one hand. Bend your elbow to a right angle.

Slowly lift the dumbbell by rotating your shoulder. Keep your elbow in place. Lower it back down. Do this a few times, then switch arms. This exercise is excellent for shoulder mobility exercises if you are already at the gym. It’s my personal favorite to do before any benching or rowing. It helps keep your rotator cuff strong and mobile.

Arnold Press

Sit or stand with a dumbbell in each hand. Hold them in front of you, palms facing you. Now, press the dumbbells overhead while turning your palms out.

Bring them back down to the starting position. Repeat this a few times. This exercise, named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, helps increase shoulder mobility. It’s also good for exercises to increase shoulder mobility for squats. To get in a good setup for squat you need lots of shoulder abduction and ER. This exercise helps with exactly that. As you progress, you can work towards a normal dumbbell or military press. This is even better for shoulder mobility for squats.

Behind Back Cable IR/ER

You need a cable machine for this one.

For external rotation, use a strap attachment so it can be anchored just above your elbow. Face the cable machine and rest your hand behind your back. Drive your elbow backwards, keeping your hand anchored to your back.

For internal rotation, turn around so the cable is pulling you backwards. Drive your elbow forward. Do this a few times on each side. This helps keep your shoulder joints moving smoothly. I have used this for athletes trying to increase handstand shoulder mobility with great results.

Stretching Tips

Always be gentle with these exercises. Don’t push too hard. If something hurts, stop right away. These are great exercises to increase shoulder mobility but generally should not be painful.

Do these exercises regularly. For most people 3-4 times per week is a great place to start. These are also great stretching and mobility exercises for a frozen shoulder. However, to see results with a frozen shoulder you may need to perform every day.

How to Increase Shoulder Mobility

Increasing shoulder mobility takes time and practice. Use these shoulder mobility exercises to help. Over time you will progress by being able to go further. Measure progress by taking mental notes or pictures to see if your mobility improves.

If you are ready to start working out again. Check out my articles on bench pressing and performing pull-ups without shoulder pain

3 thoughts on “Best Mobility Exercises For Shoulders In Pain”

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