Shoulder Relief Stretches

This is for you if you have chronic shoulder pain, rotator cuff pain, pain in the collar bone (clavicle), frozen shoulder, pain under the shoulder blade, or pain between the shoulder blades. Click on each arrow to reveal pictures and instructions.


1. These stretches are not designed to be medical advice. First consult a medical professional to ensure you don’t have an issue that requires medical attention (ie. break, infection, tumor, tear or organ involvement.) 

2. If any of the stretches cause pain, stop doing it and move on to the next one.

1. Do the stretches at least once daily until the pain is gone for a full 24 hours. For faster results, repeat the sequence as much as 10x/day in the order given. If any stretch causes discomfort, skip that stretch for now and reintroduce it later. 

2. Once the tension, aches and pains are gone, use the daily warm-up exercises to stay young and active.

Total Time - 8 mins

How: Lean back against the wall. Press hips and lower back into wall. Walk feet forward while sliding down into a sitting position. Do not sit below 90 degree knee bend. Knees should be over the ankles, not the toes.  If pain in kneecaps, raise body up the wall to relieve pressure. Hold up to 1 minute. If too much of a workout, try only a few seconds at a time and build to 1 minute. Walk around for a minute after this exercise. Repeat a second time.

How: Sit on edge of chair. Arch low back forward. Place pillow between knees. Pull shoulders back. Knees and feet line up with hips. Relax stomach muscles. Place pillow between knees, using inner thighs. Squeeze pillow for 2-second hold then release gently.  You may need to fold pillow for thickness. Keep feet parallel to each other and don’t let stomach or upper back participate.

How: Sit on the edge of your chair with your belly-button pushed forward creating a big arch in your back, and your head and shoulders back.  Slowly and evenly squeeze the shoulder blades together, then release.

How: Sit against wall with legs straight out in front. Squeeze shoulder blades together and hold.  Do not elevate shoulders. Tighten thighs. Point the feet toward belly button. Hold position.

How: Stand up straight, hands at sides. Squeeze buttocks together; be sure to use buttocks muscles, not thighs or abs.  Do one set with feet straight, hip-width apart, and one set with feet duck-toed outward.

How: Lie on stomach, rest chin on hands, bend knees 90 degrees.  Keep knees slightly wider than hips. Squeeze pillow between ankles, triggering buttocks muscles evenly. 

How: Stand on step, feet shoulder-width apart. Hold railing for support. Edge heels off step so more than half the foot is off the step.  Let weight of body press down into heels to engage the backside muscles of leg. Don’t bend knees. Hold position.

Add this when resting (Total Time - 3 mins)

How: Lie on your back, both legs bent 90 degrees on couch, chair or stack of pillows. Arms rest straight out, below shoulder level, palms up. Let back settle into the floor. Focus on belly-breathing, stomach rising on inhale & fall on exhale.  Hold position.

How: Lie on back, one leg bent 90 degrees resting on chair. Other leg extends straight and elevated on small stepladder, book stack, etc (get creative), high enough that back and hips are flat on floor. Prop feet so toes point upward. Hold position at each step for a minimum of 3 minutes. The idea is to progressively lower straight leg 5 inches at a time until it rests on floor.  As you lower the leg, relax your back on the floor. Don’t try to flatten your back. Let it happen naturally. Repeat on opposite side. 

How: Lie on back, one leg bent 90 degrees resting on chair. Other leg extends straight out on floor.  Put rolled towels (3.5 inch diameter) under neck and low back. Prop both feet so toes point upward.  Hold until extended leg is completely relaxed, then switch leg position and repeat.