Shoulder Relaxation Exercises

A number of exercises can help to relieve tight, sore shoulder muscles. Shoulder tension can cause discomfort that emanates throughout the entire body when left untreated, making the arms, neck and core muscles become tense as well. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic report that while massage often is employed to relieve shoulder discomfort, it can cause pinched nerves, so make sure to see a trained massage therapist for deep tissue or extensive shoulder massages.

Legs Across Chair

Sometimes the shoulders just need a break from holding up your head and supporting your arms. Allow the blood to circulate to your shoulders while you relax with your legs across a chair. Use a stable chair without arms over which you can drape your legs. First lie on the floor by the side of the chair and then put your legs up on the seat of the chair so that your knees are bent and your calves are resting comfortably. Make sure the chair is flush against the back of your knees. Rest your arms out to your sides and begin deep breathing. Breathe in to a count of six or seven through your mouth and out to the same count through your nose. Stay in the position for five to 15 minutes to allow your shoulders to relax.

Shoulder Lifts

The shoulders sometimes need to be challenged in different directions before they can relax. Shoulder lifts provide that movement. Stand erect with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your arms hanging loosely at your side. Then slowly raise one shoulder and in a circular motion, roll it backwards until you make a complete circle and return to the starting position. Repeat the roll on the other side. Allow both shoulders to hang loose for a couple seconds and then lift both of them at the same time and roll them back and around to the front. Rest and repeat the process 10 times.

Shoulder Stretch

The muscles on top of the shoulder often are the ones that end up carrying the stress of working at a computer all day or answering phones. The top of the shoulders also is one of the toughest areas to stretch completely. To give those muscles, tendons and ligaments a good stretch, stand upright with feet shoulder-width apart and arms hanging loosely as you did for the lifts. Very slowly bend your head to one side as far as you can while maintaining a straight back. Hold at least for 10 seconds and slowly raise your head back up. Repeat on the other side. This exercise also can be performed throughout the day while seated.

About the Author

Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."