Shoulder Stretches – How to Relax and Relieve Shoulder Pain

Do you hold unnecessary tension in your tight shoulders?  Do you constantly move your neck and shoulder blades around, trying to release the pain you feel?  There is a simple solution to help you.  These shoulder stretches will help you with good posture, and relieve that tension. Relax your shoulders as we go over a simple exercise you can incorporate into your life.

Oftentimes, people unconsciously raise their shoulders up by their ears throughout the day.  This creates unnecessary tension in your neck and shoulders.  Many imbalances in the body are due to improper shoulder use over long periods of time. Raising them up to your ears is a defense mechanism that helps the body protect your brain.  There are so many stressors in life that cause us to tense up and go into defense mode.  The key is to learn how to relax and allow our bodies to be open.

Whenever you feel your shoulders raised up or tense, imagine a string pulling you up by the top of your head.  This will cause your spine to elongate, allowing your limbs to hang naturally.  Your shoulders will drop down and release the tension it has been holding. “Relax Your Shoulders” is not just a statement to allow your shoulder pain to go away, but also a way of life.  The only time your shoulders should raise up is when you shrug. Kika Stretch Studios, Home of The KIKA Method can help you, through our flexibility sessions. The Kika Method will help you with shoulder tension, neck tension, and overall muscle tension. 

Shoulder Opener 

Are you feeling restricted in your shoulders, neck, or chest? You may need to open the muscles surrounding your shoulder. This upper body and shoulder stretch will give you a much larger range of motion. 

  1. To do this modified Kika Stretch, get into the starting position by finding a doorway that you can use.
  2. You will stand in the middle of the doorway, in line with the frame. 
  3. Start with the right side by placing one arm at a ninety degree angle upwards, resting your right hand against the frame of the door. 
  4. If this is not enough of a stretch, adjust your stance by shifting forward slightly until it feels adequate.
  5.  Hold for 15-30 seconds, and then switch to the left side, beginning with your left hand.  

Neck Stretch

Do you have chronic pain or tightness in your neck? It is very common for people to hold tension in their neck whether it is in the back of your neck, or the right or left side of your neck. 

  1. Begin by standing straight up with your arms down by your side, looking straight ahead for the starting position.
  2. Reach your right hand over your head to your left ear, and gently pull your head towards your right shoulder. 
  3. Drop your shoulders and allow the weight of your hand and gravity to stretch the side of your neck.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.
  5. Repeat the stretch on both sides when done.

Cross Body Arm Stretch

If you are feeling tightness in your shoulder blades, upper back, or arms, this arm stretch will help you to relieve that tension and find space in your shoulders. 

  1. Begin by standing straight up with your arms down by your side, looking straight ahead for the starting position.
  2. Reach your right arm straight out in front of you and place your left hand on your right bicep.
  3. Gently pull your right arm across your body to your left shoulder. 
  4. Make sure to keep your right elbow straight as you stretch it across your body.
  5. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with the left arm. 

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