9 Easy Wall Stretches to Fix Tight Shoulders

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If sitting at a desk all day leaves you hunched forward, grab the nearest wall and stretch out those tight shoulders.

Even if you don’t sit at a desk all day, activities like driving, watching TV, looking down at your computer or phone, or even exercising your muscles unevenly (i.e. doing too many chest presses and not enough rows) can cause your shoulders to get tight.

The issues don’t stop there. Sitting all day can also put pressure on our SITS muscles – the Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, and Subscapularis. These rotator cuff muscles support and stabilize our complex shoulder joint. When we are hunched over, the rotator cuff muscles and the pecs can stiffen, leading to tightness, pain, and loss of mobility in the arms and neck.

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If your shoulders are feeling tight, find a wall and take 10 minutes to stretch out those tense muscles.


Wall Chest Stretch | 30 sec per side

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This stretch relieves tightness in the pecs and the subscapularis.

  1. Stand with your right shoulder about a foot away from a wall.
  2. Reach your right arm back behind you and place your hand on the wall so that it is in line with your shoulder.
  3. Take a step closer to the wall to feel a stretch through your right shoulder and chest. Then, slightly rotate your chest outward to feel the stretch intensify.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Upside Down Cactus Stretch | 30 sec per side

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This stretches the muscles around the shoulder joint.

  1. Stand with your right shoulder facing the wall.
  2. Bring your right arm in front of you and bend the elbow to a 90-degree angle. Then, lift your elbow up in line with your right shoulder with your fingertips pointing towards the floor.
  3. Step closer to the wall and place your entire right arm on the wall right behind you. Then, gently rotate your chest outward until you feel a stretch through the right shoulder.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Overhead Shoulder Stretch | 30 sec per side

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This stretch relieves tightness along the tops of your shoulders.

  1. Stand with your right shoulder about a foot away from the wall.
  2. Reach your right arm over your head and place your hand on the wall. Your arm should be straight.
  3. Gently lean into the wall with your right shoulder until you feel a stretch through the top of the shoulder.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Overhead Triceps Stretch | 30 sec per side

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This stretch lengthens the triceps and relieves tightness on the tops of your shoulders.

  1. Stand with your right shoulder facing the wall.
  2. Stretch your right arm up above your head, bend the elbow, and reach your hand down your upper back. Your forearm should rest behind your head.
  3. Step closer to the wall and place your right elbow on the wall. Slowly lean your right shoulder into the wall to feel a stretch up the triceps and shoulder.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Wall Downdog | 30 sec

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This stretch relieves tension in the shoulders, chest, and lats.

  1. Start standing a few feet away from the wall.
  2. Place your hands on the wall so that they are in line with your hips. Then, walk your feet back so they are underneath your hips and your body is in an L-shape.
  3. Continue pressing into your palms as you slowly lower your chest and belly towards the floor until you feel a stretch through the chest and shoulders.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.

Double V | 30 sec per side

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This stretch opens up the rear deltoid, infraspinatus, teres minor, and the rhomboids.

  1. Stand facing the wall. Cross your right arm over your left in front of you and place your fingertips on the wall.
  2. Crawl your hands out to the sides as far as you comfortably can. Work towards getting your elbows to touch the wall.
  3. Your upper arms should be lined up underneath your chest. Lean into the wall and feel the stretch through the back of your shoulders.
  4. Breathe deeply into the back of the body and hold for 30 seconds.
  5. Release, then switch sides by crossing the left arm over the right.

Lateral Reach | 30 sec per side

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The stretch relieves tight shoulders and stretches the muscles between your ribs.

  1. Stand about three feet from the wall.
  2. Place your right hand on the wall at shoulder height and straighten the arm.
  3. Press into your right palm as you reach your left arm up and over your head. Reach the left fingertips towards the wall and press your hips to the left to get a side body stretch.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Wall Prayer Stretch | 30 sec

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This stretch opens up tight pecs, deltoids, lats, and the supraspinatus.

  1. Kneel in front of the wall and bring your palms together in a prayer pose.
  2. Place the pinky edges of your hands and your forearms on the wall. Your elbows should rest at about shoulder height.
  3. Hinge at the hips and lower your chest towards the floor. Scoot your knees back a few inches if you need to. Look down at the floor so the back of your neck is long.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds as you feel a stretch through your chest, shoulders, and triceps.

Sitting Pec Stretch | 30 sec

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This stretch relieves tightness in the chest, shoulders, and forearms.

  1. Stand facing away from the wall.
  2. Reach your arms back behind you and place your hands on the wall. Depending on how tight your shoulders and chest are, you may need to place your hands out wider. Turn your fingertips to point upward or slightly outward.
  3. Press back into your palms, then bend into your knees and sit your hips down like you are going to sit into a chair. You should feel the stretch from your chest, up through your shoulders and biceps, and all the way down to your forearms.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.

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(Your Next Workout: 9 Easy Wall Stretches for Tight Hips)

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