6 Shoulder Stretches

6 Stretches for the Shoulders | Style in Shape

Between holding babies, often while carrying diaper and/or grocery bags, and keeping my house in order — all after a long day sitting in front of a computer — there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t benefit from a good should stretch. This is an often forgotten part of the body that we really put through the paces every day, so today I am sharing the 6 shoulder stretches that really help me recover and feel refreshed at the end of a tough day. These stretches are quick and easy, but don’t be fooled — they are powerful!

6 Shoulder Stretches | Style in Shape

  1. W Stretch: Start by making a goal post with a 90 degree bend in your arms and then bring your elbows toward the floor and slightly behind you to form the W. This stretch brings your shoulder blades down and it feels amazing after a few hours hovering over a keyboard.
  2. Y Stretch: For this stretch channel your inner Village People while coming into a half squat and throwing your arms up like you are about to do the YMCA, but let’s just hold strong at the Y. This stretch really works the rotator cuff. It is simple but effective!
  3. Cow-Face: In this stretch, which was adapted from a yoga pose, you want to bring one arm up and over your shoulder and attempt to clasp the finger tips of your other hand which is reaching from below. This is a deep stretch, so don’t be disappointed if you can’t grab hands the first day. Keep at it daily and the increased range of motion will come quickly. It is great for your shoulders, deltoids, triceps and chest.
  4. Reverse Prayer: This is another yoga pose and, in fact, is one of my favorites from my Ashtanga practice. It’s conceptually simple — just bring your hands together in prayer behind your back with your fingertips pointed to the ceiling. Like Cow-Face, it is not an easy stretch when you first get started, so your palms might not touch, or your hands may be quite low on your back. Persistence pays off – eventually your palms will touch and you will be able to move your hands further up your back for an even deeper stretch. This stretch is great for your shoulders and wrists.
  5. Back Elbow Bound: Put both arms behind your back and reach for the elbow on the opposite arm. I do this stretch a lot throughout the day. It brings down my shoulder blades, works my rotator cuff and really opens my chest.
  6. Rear Hand Clasp: Reach your arms around your back, clasp your hands, give them a little lift, and hold. This is a simple and classic stretch that works your deltoids and is a quick way to loosen up those shoulders if you’re feeling a little tight or have some pain.

Run through and hold these 6 shoulder stretches for about 30 seconds. All together that is just 3 minutes! Done regularly you will feel the benefits and your shoulders will thank you.

Ellie Activewear | Style In Shape

On a semi-related note, I have to mention the top and leggings that I can not stop wearing! Seriously, these pieces have been on repeat almost every day this past week. I came to be wearing these because of an ad I saw almost 6 years ago for a fitness clothing subscription box from a company called PV Body while I was pregnant with my first. I promised myself that I would reward myself for consistently working out, losing my baby weight, and getting back to my regular size by getting a subscription. I kept an eye on PV Body and watched it morph into Ellie and after my first box I was hooked. Every month I could pick two workout pieces of my choice for $50. I LOVED receiving the monthly boxes (both pieces in this Kettlebell workout  post are from a box). These workout clothes have held up better than some other brands, seeing that my boy turned 5 TODAY and I still have and wear all my pieces.

I am not entirely sure what happened but about 2 years ago the company stopped curating boxes. While I was pregnant last year with my daughter I discovered that the subscription boxes were back. Similar concept except the subscription boxes now have two options. For $49.95 you receive the curated workout clothes for the month plus 2 fitness accessories or for $39.95 just the workout clothes.

This month is the first box of my new subscription. Since I have a pretty stocked home gym, I opted for the subscription that is just clothes. This month is all about getting cozy with more leisurewear than athletic wear. It comes with a light weight jersey tee with mesh panel and cross cuff leggings that are so soft with a versatile double brushed wrap. The leggings in the November box have a similar buttery feel to those made by Luluroe but offer a lot more support. Check Ellie out, I am confident you will love them! Take my word for it or do a quick Insta search with #loveellie for more raving reviews!

PS, how are you doing with the Take 10 Challenge? If you haven’t signed up yet, all you need to do is subscribe to my blog and you’ll receive a FREE workout calendar delivered right to your inbox!




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  1. Just bookmarked this, I sometimes need to stretch at the office and this solves my tense shoulder problem. Thank you!
    xx, Nicole

    1. Sitting a desk all day can be killer! Plus all the years of slinging a bag or purse on my right shoulder! If I only would have just did the bookbag thing in college instead of cute totes 🙂

  2. So I have been having shoulder issues since I was HS, about 15 years now. Been to multiple chiropractors and can’t really relive it, think I may be getting some nerve damage now from it. I know I should do stretches to help relieve the pain. One I like to do is similar to your W stretch. I stand with my back against the wall and bring my arms up to the wall like your w. THEN….keeping my arms against the wall I start to bring them together over my head in an O shape.

    1. Oh I will have to try that one out Jamie! I always feel like I need someone to pull my shoulders back, I might try to go to one of those soft tissue clinic places to see if they could help with my chronic shoulder pain. These stretches make me feel better but I would love to not have pain every day in my right shoulder.

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