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Anterior Capsule Shoulder Stretches
The front of your shoulder deserves daily stretching. You place the front of your shoulders into uncomfortable positions throughout the day when you work on a computer, drive a car, wash dishes and perform other activities that place your hands in front of your body. Take a few minutes during the day or at the end of the day to lengthen the anterior capsules in your shoulders and keep your body in healthy alignment.
An active shoulder stretch uses movement to warm and stretch your shoulders. Perform this exercise at any time throughout the day to give your shoulders relief and to improve your posture. Sit or stand with your back straight. Shrug your shoulders up toward your ears and then circle them toward the back of the room as you lower the joint into place. Repeat the shoulder circles three to five times rotating one shoulder at a time or both together.
The American Council on Exercise recommends an anterior capsule shoulder stretch that uses a doorway as a flexibility aid. Stand in the center of a doorway with your right shoulder next to the door jam. Bend your right elbow to a 90-degree angle and place your right forearm on the wall next to the door. Look over your left shoulder and press your left shoulder toward the back of the room until you feel the stretch in the front of your right shoulder. Maintain the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and complete two to four repetitions on each arm.
This shoulder stretch also expands your chest and feels great after a long day of working on a computer. Stand or sit with your back straight and bring your straight arms behind your body. Clasp your hands together, or hold a small towel in between your hands if you cannot reach. Begin with your hands near your lower back. Lift your straight arms toward the ceiling until you feel the stretch across the front of your shoulders. Maintain the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and aim to repeat this shoulder opener two or three times.
A single-sided shoulder opener that will make you breathe a sigh of relief places both of your hands against one side of your body. Begin in the shoulder opener position of clasping your hands together near your lower back. Move your hands to your left hip so that your left elbow is bent out to the side and your right forearm is against your back. You will feel the stretch in the front of your right shoulder. Maintain this position for 15 to 30 seconds and then switch to move your hands to your right hip. Keep your chest elevated and your back straight as you stretch your shoulders.
- American Council on Exercise: Shoulder Capsule Stretch
- "Yoga Journal": Six Stretches to Do at Your Desk; Elise Browning Miller, Carol Blackman
- Harvard Health Publishing. How to release a frozen shoulder. Updated March 19, 2019.
- Drayer Physical Therapy Institute. Shoulder stretches. Updated August 15, 2016.
- Reuther, K. E., Larsen, R., Kuhn, P. D., Kelly IV, J. D., & Thomas, S. J. (2016). Sleeper stretch accelerates recovery of glenohumeral internal rotation after pitching. Journal of shoulder and elbow surgery, 25(12), 1925-1929.
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.