4 Functional Shoulder Exercises to Improve Mobility


Ever tried to get a particularly tight jumper off and felt a twinge in your shoulder? It’s something we see a lot. And something functional shoulder exercises help ease efficiently.

Many of us spend our working week hunched over computers or behind a wheel. You’ll immediately spot someone with a desk job if they have internally rotated shoulders, tight pecs and rounded backs. All of these result in the dreaded hunch. This doesn’t just affect our confidence, but our all-round functional fitness and mobility.

Prolonged tension can lead to tendon injuries. Poor posture, lack of exercise, and even exercise performed incorrectly can all play a part in mobility issues. Straighten out these imbalances and reset your mobility with these functional shoulder exercises.

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4 functional shoulder exercises to improve mobility

1. Wall extensions

They look almost too simple. But just like Mediterranean food, sometimes, simple = wonderfully effective. You can perform these anywhere with a wall:

  • Standing with your hips and whole flat back against it, raise your elbows to a 90-degree angle.
  • Try to keep your back in contact with as much of the wall as possible.
  • Keep edging your arms up the wall while keeping strength and contact in your hips, back and arms.

No slacking, now.

2. Doorway stretch

We’re spoiling you with all these do-anywhere functional shoulder exercises. This one can even be performed while you’re waiting for your dinner to come out of the oven.

  • Stand inside of a doorway, holding onto the frame itself with your arms anywhere between 90 to 180 degrees.
  • Push your torso through, stretching the pec muscles and pulling the shoulder blades forward.
  • Breathe deeply into your belly for one minute and feel a joyous release in those tight shoulders.

3. Lat focus with band traction

You’ll probably want to hang out in our Kinesis Lounge for this one.

  • Using a band, secure yourself to the top of a machine or cable column.
  • Step backwards until the band is pulled tight.
  • Your left arm is extended over your head.
  • With your legs slightly more than hip-width apart, hinge your waist and rotate so that your right arm pushes across your midsection.
  • Keep going for one minute, then switch sides and repeat.

4. Two-arm rows

Super-quick biology lowdown: the rotator cuff is a gang of muscles and tendons that keep the ball of your upper arm bone in your shoulder socket. What we’re trying to say is: it’s important. Two-arm rows can balance out these muscles if they’re tight. Strengthen them up by facing downwards on a 45-degree angled bench, then rowing up with a dumbbell in each hand. If you prefer, you can also do these functional shoulder exercises standing.

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