Simple Shoulder Movements to Reduce Pain


An important consideration when addressing shoulder mobility is that shoulder mobility itself also requires adequate stability of the scapula. Without a stable scapula, impingement can occur and your shoulder mobility and health could be compromised. The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body. Why? It allows for the highest degrees of range of motion but this can also come at the cost of joint stability. Shoulder mobility is important both from a strengthening and stretching perspective. We need strength to help support the joint and decrease risk of injury. We also need flexibility to maintain a pain-free range of motion.

To maximize your body movement potential, you need to have adequate ranges of motion, strength through your ranges and maximum control of your individual joints. Then you will be able to move well, produce smooth coordinated motion and distribute forces evenly throughout your body.

Stiffness, restrictions, and in some cases, pain, are your body notifications telling you mobility may be compromised.

Will stretching help your mobility?

While stretching is a popular solution for trying to fix poor mobility, results are usually short lived. That’s because stretching alone only ‘temporarily’ allows access to greater range of motion. This is quickly reversed if it’s not accompanied with some kind of specific strengthening work.

Click on the button for your my FREE Shoulder Mobility Cheat Sheet with specific exercises and stretches to move and feel better.

Test Your Shoulder Mobility:

Here is a common test for Shoulder mobility (internal/external rotation):

  1. Sit on a chair with your back straight, core tight and shoulders pulled down and back. Without moving your torso, place the palm of your right hand on the back of your neck. Then place the backside of your left hand on your lower back. Without arching your back, try to slide your hands so they’re as close as possible. Your hands should ideally be about a fist’s width apart. Repeat on both sides. If your hands are further than a fist’s width apart, your shoulder mobility is compromised and needs to be addressed to prevent further compensation and onset of pain.


The shoulder a unique joint which is a complex system of muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and nerves which must all be firing and systematically working together to stay flexible, stable, strong, and pain-free. Restoring shoulder mobility begins in several areas, the shoulder, mid back and shoulder blade. More specifically, the shoulder joint, thoracic spine and scapula.

If you experienced pain or limited motion with this test, download this FREE Shoulder Mobility Cheat Sheet with additional mobility, strength exercises and stretches you can perform daily to begin improve and reducing should pains.

If you have specific questions regarding your shoulder mobility or other any health and fitness questions, you can easily reach me at I am happy to answer any of your questions and guide you to which treatment approach is best for you. I want to see you pain free and moving well! – Coach Joe

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