You probably already know that shoulder blades are located at the back of your shoulders. They are also called scapula or shoulder blades because they look like two large wings.
These bones are connected to each other through ligaments and muscles. The main function of these bones is to provide support to our upper body.
Shoulder blades are often neglected during workouts. This is due to their location behind the neck and chest area.
If you want to improve your posture, stretching exercises should be included in your workout routine.
Stretching exercises are essential for improving flexibility and preventing injuries. In addition, they can increase blood flow to the brain, heart, lungs, and other organs. Stretching helps prevent muscle soreness after exercise.
The Best Shoulder Blade Exercises
The shoulder blade is one of those areas that we don’t really pay attention to it, but it actually plays a very important role in our overall health.
The shoulder blades are located along the spine and help us raise our arms up above our head.
They protect the spinal column and provide support for the upper body. If you look closely, you’ll notice that there are small muscles attached to the shoulder blades called serratus anterior.
These muscles act like little “wings,” helping us lift our arms up over our heads.
If you’ve ever had trouble lifting your arm up over your head, you know how difficult it is to do without proper training.
One way to strengthen your shoulder blades is to perform simple exercises that target the trapezius muscle group. This includes exercises such as the dumbbell row, barbell rows, cable rows, and many others.
You might find that performing these exercises helps reduce your neck and shoulder pain.
1. Neck Stretches
Neck stretches are great for relieving tension alone at the very base of the skull. They work because the muscles around the neck attach to the spine, causing them to pull together and relax.
The best way to do a standard neck stretch is to stand up straight and look ahead.
Start by looking over your left shoulder and slowly move your head toward your right shoulder. As you reach your right shoulder, tip it toward your left ear. You’ll feel the tension start to go away.
Once you’ve stretched out both sides, switch directions and repeat.
2. Shoulder Rolls
Shoulder rolls actually are one of those stretches you can do anywhere. They work every muscle in the upper arm, chest, and shoulders, including the rotator cuff muscles.
You don’t even need a partner; just stand facing a wall and lean into it.
If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, try doing shoulder rolls while holding a dumbbell in each hand. This exercise strengthens the deltoid muscles, which help stabilize the scapula during movement.
3. Pendulum Stretch
This exercise works the rotator cuff muscles and helps improve the range of motion.
To perform it, stand with your feet roughly hip distance apart. Look straight ahead and lean forward slightly. Place your right hand directly on something stable such as a chair or a table for balance.
With the left hand, gently swing the upper body over toward the right side.
Hold the position for 15 seconds. Then return to the center. Repeat 10 times. Rest for one minute.
4. Cross-Body Shoulder Stretch
The cross-body thorough shoulder stretch is one of the most effective stretches you can do for relieving tension in the shoulders.
This simple movement targets the muscles along the front edge of the shoulder blade, helping to release tension that accumulates throughout the day.
To perform the exercise, stand with the feet hip-width apart. Reach over the head with your right hand while keeping your left arm relaxed. Extend your right arm out straight as far as possible.
Then bring your right arm across the chest, so that it touches your opposite shoulder. Try and hold this position for 15 seconds, breathing deeply. Repeat three times on each side.
5. Side-Lying Thoracic Rotation
This thoracic rotation stretches the muscles along the sides of the upper body, including the chest, shoulders, arms, and neck. You can perform this exercise lying down, standing up, or even sitting. Here are three ways you can do it:
1. Lie on your right side firmly on a gym floor or yoga mat.
2. Stand tall and bend over toward the left side. Reach behind you with your right hand and grab hold of the outside edge of your left foot. Pull yourself into a seated position.
3. Sit upright in a chair and place both hands on the seat in front of you. Lean forward and slowly roll onto your left side. Keep your head resting on the floor and your eyes looking upward.
Preventing Shoulder Pain And Tightness
Regular stretching alone can actually help to prevent your arms from becoming too short and stiff. A lack of movement can lead to tight muscles and sore joints.
When working for a long time at your computer, it’s best to keep the monitor at roughly eye level. Because this prevents the head from having to twist and turn to look down at the screen.
Maintaining your good posture helps avoid unnecessary strain on the spine.
Shoulder injuries are common among athletes. They can be caused by repetitive motions, poor technique, or improper training.
If you have any questions about your own shoulder problems, consult your doctor.
But for now, we hope that this article has provided you with some useful stretches to help loosen those shoulder blades up!
Sometimes, it really is only a single stretch that is needed to help loosen up your shoulder blade tightness, so it’s worth trying out some stretches above to solve the problem faster!