Stretches are overall a good thing as they help ease tension or relieve the body from stiffness in areas that might otherwise cause pain or prevent the fluid performance of an exercise. They are one of the keys to a better done exercise.
The shoulders in particular play a big role in body movement and when they are not at their best, exercise can prove difficult or downright painful to do. So before embarking on any exercise, here are a few stretches that will prevent you from having rounded shoulders. Here we go:
1. Back bound hand pose
Squeeze your shoulder blades down and together and bring both arms and hands behind you. Grab the right elbow with the left hand and then grab the left elbow with your right hand. If this is too hard, grab your wrist or forearm with the opposite hand. Take a few deep breaths, lift your chest, and keep your shoulder blades down and back. Now repeat by grabbing your left elbow with your right hand this time.
2. Cow face pose
Place the back of your left hand on your lower back and slide it up as far as it will comfortably go. Now stretch your right arm up and bend your elbow reaching behind you to grab your left hand. This is difficult, so if you can’t do it, do not worry. Just go as far as you comfortably can and over time you will get better and better. Remember to keep your chest lifted and your shoulders down and back. Hold for a few breath cycles (30 seconds or so) and then repeat on the other side.
3. Baby Cobra Pose
Lie on your stomach with your hand directly beside your shoulders. Inhale and slowly press yourself up, keeping your elbows bent. Breathe deeply for a few breath cycles and then come back down.
4. Bridge Pose
Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Take a deep breath and raise your hips off the floor as high as you are comfortable going. Now draw your shoulders down and back and clasp your hands together if possible. Try to reach them as far to your feet as possible. Breathe deeply for a few breath cycles and lower your body gently to the floor.
5. Camel Pose
Kneel on the floor with your back to a chair. Keep your feet hip width apart and grasp the chair with your hands. Now push your pelvis forward and lift your chest to the sky. Breathe deeply as you keep pushing your shoulder blades back and down, and keep lifting your chest as far as you can comfortably go. Hold this pose for a few breath cycles.