The shoulder joint is under a lot of pressure during workouts, especially if you’re looking to build your upper body strength. Exercises like bench press, military press, dips, and pushups all require a lot of shoulder flexibility and movement. That is why warming up and stretching your shoulders before a workout is crucial to avoid injuries.
Here are some useful exercises to stretch your shoulders and avoid injury.
Internal and external rotator cuffs are muscles that keep our arms in the shoulder socket. Since external rotators are rather hard to target, here’s how you can do it with a resistance band.
- Hold the band in your left hand, with your left side facing the machine.
- Bend your arm in the elbow to 90 degrees.
- Draw your left hand toward your torso and rotate the shoulder inward. Avoid twisting your torso.
Band Resisted “No money” Exercise
The lower trap muscles are also responsible for a lot of shoulder movement. You can target them with one of the best exercises to stretch your shoulders – the “no money” exercise. Here’s how to do it.
- Take a stance like you’re about to do a barbell bicep curl, with your palms up and your elbows bent 90 degrees.
- Grab a resistance band and stretch it out, pulling your shoulder blades.
- Hold for a couple of seconds, then release to the original position.
Pushups with a Plus
Another important shoulder muscle is the serratus anterior. You can engage it with pushups with a plus.
- Start in the classic pushup position.
- Without bending your elbows, lower your chest between the shoulders and pinch your shoulder blades.
- Lift your chest by pressing through your palms and widen your shoulders.
Introduce any of these exercises to stretch your shoulders before a workout and you can significantly reduce the risk of injury.