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A simple shoulder rotation and upper back exercise

January 25, 2013

Waking up after a nights sleep often times finds me with stiff shoulders from the positions I put myself into while I sleep.

Sitting at the keyboard for hours on end tends to do the same thing, just from the slight hunch and tension of concentrating and typing away or editing images.

I worked up this movement to help loosen up my upper back, shoulders and stretch out the lateral muscles running along my rib-cage.

What are some of the  benefits?

Keeping your shoulders agile allows you to get dressed easier, do your around the house chores and move better in general.

Work with this exercise, taking it slowly at first and build up the range of motion as your body allows.

Remember, the slower you do it, the more effective it is. Moving slowly also allows your body to relax into the movement. If you feel tension, back off, take a breath and move slowly a bit further


Important – the image is only at the faster speed to show the rotation. You should move much much slower though the exercise!

  • Start with both hands by your hips with your hand curled into soft fists. Do Not clench your fists tight!
  • Raise your fists and allow your forearms to follow behind them.
  • Continue the “punch” up towards and then over and behind your shoulders, raising your elbows up at the end for a little extra stretch.
  • Reverse and brings your hands back down focusing on feeling your back and shoulders relax as you lower your arms.

Do 5 – 10 of these reps with each arm.


Inhale with your hands at your hips and exhale as you curl up and relax into the stretch.  Inhale as you bring your hands/arms back to the starting position.

One Comment
  1. Annie permalink

    Thanks for sharing,Stan. I will be practicing this one when my shoulder heals. I liked the demonstration too.


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