Fitness Fix: Improve Your Shoulder Mobility

By Nicole Radziszewski |

More than any other joint in your body, your shoulders are designed to move in many planes of motion. Good shoulder mobility is necessary if you want to lift weights overhead, throw or catch a ball, or simply reach for something without injury.

For most of us, problems start with our everyday routines — sitting at a desk and driving a car put our shoulders in a problematic position, says Miguel Aragoncillo, CSCS, a Boston-based strength coach. Flared ribs, tightness in the arms and chest, and difficulty raising your arms overhead signal limited range of motion.

Here are Aragoncillo’s top exercises for improving shoulder mobility.

Myofascial Release in Pecs and Anterior Shoulder


Press the front of your shoulder or chest with the ball against the wall and locate an area where you feel tightness. Gently roll the ball in a circular motion across the tight area for about 30 seconds.

Move the ball slightly to locate any other areas that are tight. Repeat as needed on both shoulders.

Forearm Wall Slide With Y Arms


Start with your elbows bent at your sides and pinky fingers against the wall.

Slide your hands upward and slightly to the sides until both arms are straight.

Lift your hands and arms away from the wall, aiming to get your biceps in line with your ears, without shrugging, and maintain a neutral posture.

Return hands to the wall and slowly lower them. Repeat for three sets of eight to 10 repetitions.

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