Exercises to Open Your Shoulders


Relieve shoulder pain and prevent the typical slouching posture with the following tips.

To have beautiful arms, we should not forget about our shoulders. When we strengthen our shoulder muscles, we help keep the shoulder joint from any harm.

Sculpting our shoulders also contributes to having good posture, especially if you spend many hours a day sitting at the computer, or on your phone.

Most of our upper-body movements involve our shoulders, so establishing an exclusive routine for them is not only a good idea but a necessity.

Shoulder Workout: The Shoulder Muscles

To have strong and gorgeous shoulders, we should first get to know the different muscles around the shoulder joint:

  • Deltoid: these are 3 muscles covering the outside of the shoulder.
  • Traps: these are muscles that run from the neck and spine to the shoulder blade.
  • Lats: these are large muscles that run from the spine to the armpit.
  • Rotator cuff: these are muscles that protect your arm bone and keep it in the shoulder socket.

As we have seen, we have a variety of muscles, so we need to approach them with a variety of exercises.

What is “Open Shoulders”?

The phrase “open shoulders” comes from yoga and gymnastics. It involves working on your flexibility and mobility to achieve the perfect straight line handstand. In other words, open shoulders means that we can fully open our shoulders overhead so that the shoulders are aligned with the natural curvature of the spine.

One of the benefits of strengthening our shoulders is that it prevents injuries. It also allows us to perform at a higher level.

Having strong shoulders will improve your performance not only in yoga and gymnastics, but also if you practice martial arts and left weights.

Open Shoulders: Exercises

Tabletop Lift

  • Start seated on the floor with legs bent.
  • Place your feet flat on the floor, pressing your palms into the mat, and your arms straight and behind your body.
  • Lift your hips until the thighs are parallel to the ceiling.
  • Lower your hips back down with control.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Upward-facing Dog

  • Begin in a high Planck and go to Downward-facing Dog.
  • Bend the elbows lowering the hips, then pull up your chest pressing down through your palms, slightly lifting your hips and thighs.
  • Lower the chest and drop your knees slowly.
  • Do 10 repetitions.


  • Stand tall with your feet together, engaging your core and legs.
  • Lift your shoulders through the sternum. Roll the shoulders back and down, rotating the palms open to the front as you broaden the collarbone.

Inverted Push-up

  • Begin in an upside-down position (feet flat on the floor and hands pressing the mat and your hips high).
  • Bend your elbows to the sides and bring your head to touch the floor between your hands.
  • Press back to the starting position.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Pull-aparts with Bands

  • Begin standing with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Holding a resistance band with both hands, extend your arms straight in front of your body and raise them to your shoulders, as if you are opening a window.
  • Return to the starting position with control. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Pullover Pulses

  • Start sitting on a bench resting your back and hips on it. Place your feet on the floor and hold 2 dumbbells with your hands.
  • Move your arms back so that they are extended straight and parallel to the floor and aligned with your body.
  • Raise both arms straight 45 degrees upward with your palms facing the ceiling.
  • Go back to the starting position.
  • Do 3 sets of 8 repetitions.

The Halo

  • Kneel on the floor with your knees slightly wider than the hips.
  • Holding a dumbbell with both hands to your chest, circle the dumbbell around your head and go back to the starting position.
  • Do 10 circles in one direction, and then 10 more in the other. Repeat 3 times.

Straight Arm Pullovers

  • Start sitting on a bench resting your hips and back on it. Place your feet on the floor and hold a barbell with your arms (you may choose grip widths, narrow, shoulder width and wide according to the intensity you want to try).
  • Place your arms extended behind your back. Lift them straight upward 45 degrees with control and lower them back down.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Supine Overhead Flies

  • Sit on a bench resting your back and hips on it. Place your feet on the floor and hold 2 dumbbells to your sides.
  • Holding the dumbbell with your palms facing the ceiling, move your arms straight, so they are parallel to your body.
  • Let your hands touch and then go back to the starting position.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Yoga poses that open your shoulders

Dolphin: Stand tall and hold opposite elbows and place forearms parallel to one another. Drop your head and bend your knees, reaching your chest back. At the same time interlace your hands and move them back so they parallel to the floor. Stay in this position for 5 deep breaths.

Reverse Prayer: Position yourself in all fours and press your forearms and palms to the floor, bending your elbows. lift your hips and legs straight. Press your palms together in prayer position and breath deeply 5 times.

Thread the Needle: Sit straight with your legs bent and resting your butt on your feet. With your back straight reach your right arm underneath your body, You can do it with the help of your left hand, then crawl it a bit to the right and grip your right hand from below. Stay in this position for 5 deep breaths and alternate sides.

Cow Face: Lie down on your stomach and kneel. Reach your feet and arms so your hands can grab your feet. Lift them up and stay in this position for 5 deep breaths.

We hope you try these exercises to open your shoulders. Do it at home, while you are working on your computer, or at the gym. You can do it!

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