Are you someone who spends a major part of the day working over a computer? If yes, then maintaining good posture is the key to preventing aches in the body. However, it is easier said as people unknowingly get into a wrong posture with their shoulders held tight, the neck in an awkward position, and the spine rounded. By the end of the day, those people would have tight or achy shoulders. Tight and stiff shoulders are common complaints among people who have desk jobs. This article will describe shoulder stretches that can relieve you from tight shoulders.

10 Effective Shoulder Exercises For Stiff Shoulders

1. Shoulder shrugs or shoulder rolls

This is a great exercise that can relieve stress not only in the shoulders but also in the neck and upper back.


  1. Maintain the right posture while sitting or standing to do these shoulder stretches.
  2. Start with the arm by your sides and palms facing one another.
  3. Inhale and roll your shoulders slowly upwards as much as you can towards the ears. You should feel muscle resistance when you are doing the movement.
  4. Bring the shoulders back to the start position and breathe out.
  5. Repeat for 10 times of 3 sets each. Increase to 20 reps of 3 sets as you build strength.


It strengthens the trapezius muscles which are on the sides of the neck. It helps in improving posture, strengthens shoulders, and stabilizes the upper back and neck. This exercise makes sitting, bending, lifting, and reaching easy.

2. Shoulder rolls

A simple exercise among all the shoulder stretches but with amazing benefits. Here’s how to do it:


  1. Stand tall with legs hip wide apart and spine straight.
  2. Roll the shoulders up, back, and down in an easy motion.
  3. Repeat this about 10 times and reverse by rolling forward.


These shoulder stretches releases tension in the throat and shoulders. It also improves the range of motion in the shoulders and throat.

3. Ear to shoulder stretch

The ear-to-shoulder stretch is another simple but effective exercise that has great benefits. It is a beginner yoga pose that is a precursor to more intense poses in yoga. To do this:


  1. Place a mat on the floor and sit on it with legs crossed and spine straight.
  2. The hands can be kept on the knees.
  3. Now tilt your head to one of the shoulders.
  4. Stretch as far as you, you can also use your hands to gently pull the head towards the shoulders.
  5. Hold in that pose for about 30 seconds.
  6. Repeat on the other side. Try to complete 3 sets of 10 reps each.


This is a pose that stretches the shoulders and neck and reduces the tension in them. It is a calming pose that calms and balances the body and mind.

4. Standing arm swings

It is an exercise that is for stretching and warm-up for other upper body exercises.


  1. Stand with your arms by the sides.
  2. Swing the arms forward as high as you can without raising your shoulders.
  3. Return to start and repeat for 1 minute.
  4. Shoulder stretches with band also can be done.


It is among the shoulder stretches for flexibility and mobility along with the back.

5. Standing wall stretch

Standing wall stretch is among the shoulder blade stretches that need no equipment and can be done anyplace where there is solid support for doing this. It targets the shoulder and chest muscles.


  1. Look for a solid surface like a wall.
  2. Place both your hands on them and walk back.
  3. The arms should be held straight on the wall and should form a 90 degree with body.
  4. Now bend from your hips until there is a stretch in the shoulders.
  5. Once you feel the stretch hold for 15 to 30 seconds.


It helps to loosen the shoulders, release tension and improve flexibility. This is among the shoulder blade stretches for pain that also reduces shoulder injury risk.

6. Crossbody shoulder stretch

It is among the best stretches for shoulder blade pain. Here’s how to do it:


  1. Stands with the legs hip-width apart.
  2. Straighten the right arm across the body such that the hand points to the ground.
  3. Keep the left elbow bent and place the left forearm so that the right arm is pulled further across the body.
  4. If done properly, the back of the right shoulder is stretched.
  5. Hold this for 20 seconds and repeat on the other side.


It relieves the tension in the back of the shoulder, improves posture, improves mobility, and relieves pain. It is among the ideal shoulder stretches for flexibility.

7. Reverse Prayer Pose

This is a unique pose that resembles the form of prayer but in reverse. It is among the stretches for shoulder pain that work on the shoulders, forearms, wrists, and chest.


  1. This can be done in a standing pose or while seated.
  2. Place your hands behind the back with the palms facing each other and fingers facing the floor.
  3. Now join the palms with fingers straight. Flip the hands up so that the fingers are pointed to the ceiling.
  4. Maintain a straight spine, open the chest and keep the elbows back.
  5. Hold this shoulder muscle stretches for 30 seconds and repeat a few times.


It can help in relaxing the tense and tight shoulder muscles. It also relaxes the shoulder blades helping reduce neck and shoulder pain.

8. Chest Expansion

Another easy shoulder muscle stretches that can be done as part of a workout at home. It can be done using an exercise band or a towel.


  1. Stand straight with feet together.
  2. Place your arms behind while holding the ends of the band or towel.
  3. Use this band ot towel to open the chest and the shoulder blades.
  4. Hold in this position for 30 seconds and repeat for upto 5 times.


These are shoulder stretches with band that works on the shoulders, chest, and back muscles and increases the range of motion. It expands the lungs and increases oxygen absorption.

9. Child pose

This is a basic yoga pose that is simple but effective as a shoulder stretching exercise.


  1. Sit on your knees on a yoga mat with the body upright.
  2. Slowly move your arms forward until it is extended in front.
  3. Lower the body onto the thighs with the forehand on the floor.
  4. Hold in this pose for 3 deep breaths and repeat for up to 5 times.


It opens the shoulders joint and stretches the lat muscles. This pose also benefits the lower back and is among the best stretches for shoulder pain.

10. Doorway stretch

It is among the shoulder stretching exercises that can help in stretching one of the sides that is tighter than the other.


  1. Stand with one side facing the doorway with the arms and elbows making a 90 degree.
  2. Keep your arm to shoulder height and place the forearm and palm on the door
  3. Gently stretch for 30 seconds as far as you can.
  4. Change to the other side and repeat 2 to 3 times.


It releases tensions, increases motion in the shoulders, and is among the best stretches for shoulder blade pain.

If you are a beginner to exercises and stretches then consider enrolling with a trainer as it helps in correcting the posture and technique.

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July 8, 2022

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