I hope you enjoy these ideas to help release and strengthen the shoulders. Take your time and let me know how it goes!
1. Shoulder Blade Release
We'll begin with a release so you can get deeper in the following exercises as well as bring awareness to this area. We're trying to soften the fascia and muscles around the back of the shoulder - specifically the serratus anterior, rotator cuff muscles, latissimus dorsi and teres major. So, find your tennis ball (or other preferred self-massage tool) and make space at a wall!
2. Arm Half Circle at the Wall
The ribs and hips move as they want. If it feels like too much of a stretch or too intense in general, simply step further away from the wall. To make the sensation more, take a step closer to the wall but always keep at least some space between the inside shoulder and the wall.
Repeat on the other side.
3. Elbow Squeeze #1
4. Elbow Squeeze #2
*When this starts to feel clear, slide the hands further back along the ribs so they rest more towards the side of the ribs than front.
5. Wall lean
Stand sideways to a sturdy wall. Find a distance where the inside hand can be on the wall, with the elbow bent, and you are leaning in a straight line in to the wall. The hand is a little bit below shoulder height, and the elbow points down to the floor. The feet are close together. This is your starting shape. You can always adjust the distance from the wall to make the exercise easier or more difficult.
The goal is to feel a sense of effort in the upper arm muscles and possibly also underneath the armpit on the back. Abdominals are also supporting. Ideally the shoulders feel more relaxed afterwards.
Congratulations, you made it all the way through! I hope you're feeling stronger and more relaxed around the neck and shoulders.