The New Workout Warm-Up for Healthy Shoulders

Increase your shoulder range of motion and reduce your risk of injury with exercises from STACK Expert Kelvin King Jr.

If you consistently have immobile and tight shoulders when you squat, press or bench, there's a good chance that shoulder mobility issues are preventing you from excelling in your sport and could cause more serious problems later on.

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Fortunately, there are a few simple exercises you can perform before a workout to increase mobility, activate and strengthen your muscles and restore the range of motion you need to play your best and stay injury-free. These three drills are based on the idea of tracing the alphabet, meaning that you basically write an imaginary alphabet with your hand to perform the exercise. This moves your shoulder through a variety of angles, which is more effective than the common practice of making circles.

These alphabet progressions will help you loosen up your shoulders and have a nice active recovery session.

1. Quadruped Position, Alphabet Shoulder Mobility

Quadruped Position

  • Get on all fours (quadruped position).
  • Take a small 5- or 10-pound plate.
  • Write the alphabet on each side.
  • You can perform this during your regular mobility progressions and/or as active recovery with light weight.

Sets: 1 each side

RELATED: 7 Exercises That Safely Build Shoulder Strength

2. Scapular Wall Alphabet Shoulder Mobility

Scapular Wall Alphabet Shoulder Mobility

  • Stand facing a wall with your core tight.
  • Perform your alphabet without the weight on both sides.
  • To use this as an active recovery or recovery set, use light weight.
  • Write the alphabet on each side.

Sets: 1 each side as a warm-up or 2-3 sets for active recovery

3. Walking Alphabet Shoulder Mobility

Walking Alphabet Shoulder Mobility

  • This might be the most difficult.
  • Walk and write the alphabet with both arms.
  • Walk until you complete the alphabet.
  • You can perform this during your regular mobility progressions and/or as active recovery with light weight.

Sets: 1 each side as a warm-up or 2-3 sets for active recovery

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These shoulder mobility exercises are not meant to replace your current shoulder mobility/strengthening program. They are another tool you can add to your toolbox when needed.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: WARM-UP | SHOULDERS