Shoulder and upper arm Mobility

Mobility-focused exercises to help reduce pain, tension and increase shoulder range of motion.  For a long term approach treating shoulder and upper arm mobility issues or pain, doing 'shoulder and upper arm strength exercises' are strongly recommended since these build up the tolerance to fatigue, tension and so injury within the region. In combination, resting shoulder posture can also be improved.The list of exercises below includes specific exercises local to the shoulder and upper arm region, but also includes exercises that mobilise the surrounding areas of the shoulders. These are just as beneficial since the body moves as a whole, not as individual compartments. Moreover, muscles often span through multiple regions and so maximal benefit to one region can be brought about by mobilising up the whole muscle, not just one portion of it.

Osteopaths are highly trained and experienced when it comes to safety, identifying causes of shoulder and upper arm issues, reducing pain and recurrence. For individualised treatment, prescription of exercises most suitable for you with a personal plan, and specific advice about how to reduce your pain and prevent it from recurring, book online or call us to make an appointment.

Please read our disclaimer before: attempting any 'shoulder and upper arm mobility' exercises, reading any information provided, or following hyperlinked videos or external resources provided on this website. 

Quadruped shoulder circles

A neat exercise that helps to improve shoulder mobility and a little shoulder blade strength too.

Wall angels

A gentle exercise which helps to improve shoulder-neck mobility and resting neck and upper back posture. 

Arm raises

A convenient, effective, mobilising and posture improving exercise that can be done in a chair or standing. 

Shoulder rolls/Chicken wings/Backstrokes

Simple exercises to help reduce tension in upper back, shoulder and neck muscles.

L-Arm stretch

An effective dynamic shoulder stretch focusing on the posterior capsule and muscles.

Prone bent arm chest stretch

A nice exercise to open up the chest and improve posture.

Cat/cow pose (standing & quadruped)

A great movement to enhance middle and upper back mobility, which is often a pre-disposing and excerbating factor driving neck pain. 

Thread the needle with added rib mobilisation

A great movement to enhance middle and upper back mobility, which is often a pre-disposing and excerbating factor driving neck pain. 

Chest stretch w/pectoralis minor focus

A simple and effective exercise to reduce chest tension and improve posture. 

Standing ‘lat’ stretch

A simple and convenient exercise to mobilise latissimus dorsi - a large back muscle which affects shoulder and thoracic spine movement. 

Figure of 8

A great, convenient exercise to mobilise all of the middle back spine and ribs.

Trapezius trigger pointing

Have fun with a tennis ball and reduce your neck and shoulder tension easily. 

Clasped hands extension

A simple exercise to improve should extension range.

Supine snow angel (w/foam roller variation)

A exercise where you can really feel a fantastic opening up of the chest whilst simultaneously and dynamically mobilising the upper back and shoulders.

Supine thoracic extensions

A great exercise to segmentally mobilise the thoracic spine. You can use rolled up towel or foam roller to assist. 

Kneeling rotations

An effective exercise to open up the chest, ribs and spine. 

Kneeling thoacic extension/prayer mobilisation

A lovely exercise that helps to improve posture and thoracic spine mobility. A narrower elbow placement can be used to also stretch the ‘lats’.

Standing thoacic extension

A simple exercise to improve thoacic spine mobility into extension, as well as improving posture. 

C/T wall extension

A great exercise to improve posture and specifically to help mobilise the 'Buffalo's hump', located at the cervico-thoracic junction, often over flexed from computer and phone usage.  

Shoulder flossing

An exercise aimed to maximise overall shoulder mobility.

Chest doorway ball inhibition dynamic mobilisation

A useful exercise to reduce chest tension and to help improve shoulder posture.

Prone snow angel

A neat back and shoulder mobilised with an added strength and postural component.

Brachial plexus nerve flossing

An exercise designed to mobilise the brachial plexus and breakdown adhesions causing neuropathic pain.