Shoulder stretch to reduce tension

I love this stretch. I find it works when your shoulders feel hard and tense. I also like that it is one of those stretches where it’s really easy to see that you’ve made some progress.

I’m coming back to this stretch a lot at the moment as I’ve got myself into a habit of tensing up my right shoulder. I think it’s because I tend to carry my baby around on my left side so I’m trying to compensate by hunching up my right. Whatever the cause, I can feel the imbalance in my shoulders – which is another reason why this stretch is good, as you can repeat more on the side that’s aching.

Shoulder stretch

1. Have a belt or towel handy and either stand or sit comfortably in a position where your back is straight

2. Reach your arms up, keeping them as straight as possible and as close to your ears as you can


3. Take your left arm and bring it down so it’s parallel to the floor. Check you haven’t hunched up your shoulders


4. Now move your left arm behind you and try to tuck your hand around the curve of your waist


5. Move your left hand up so it lies in-between your shoulder blades (or as near as you can)


6. Now drop your right hand down and try to hold the fingers of your left hand


7. If your hands don’t meet, grab a belt and start the stretch from the beginning, holding the belt in your right hand.


When I first started I thought there was no way I’d ever be able to clasp my hands behind my back. But as I practised this more, it just got easier. And not only did it sort my shoulders out, I could actually clasp my hands behind my back!

Remember to do this on both sides and if one of your shoulders hurts more than the other work more with the sore side. 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Priya says:

    Hi Catherine,
    Found your blog through MBC and love your space. I am from India and I practice yoga to keep myself fit. I run a parenting website. Would love to know what you think of it.


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