Dynamic Shoulder Stretches

Dynamic stretching for the shoulders is done with active stretches that increase blood circulation, warm up the muscles and improve range of motion. Doing dynamic stretches before activity like swimming laps or playing basketball, or any other activity that challenge your shoulders, can help prevent injury and prepare your muscles for exercise. The following two stretches can be done at any fitness level, anywhere and require no equipment, making them a good choice for warming up your shoulders.

Stretching before a workout can help prevent shoulder pain. Credit: twinsterphoto/iStock/Getty Images

Make Circles

Arm circles warm up your deltoids and rotator cuff muscles. Stand up straight and lift your arms to your sides, parallel to the floor. Turn your palms down. Make a roughly 3-inch wide circle with your arms in one direction. Complete 10 circles, then switch your direction and do 10 more. Next, make a wider arm circle, aim for 24 inches, with your arms in one direction. If your shoulders are tight, you may need to reduce the size of your circle. Complete 10 circles, then switch direction and do 10 more.

Back and Forth

Arm swings dynamically loosen up the shoulder muscles and prepare them for activity. Stand up straight and lift your arms to your sides, parallel to the floor. Simultaneously swing your arms across your body, right arm above your left. Keep your arms parallel to to the floor as you do this. Return your arms to the start position and do another swing, this time with your left arm on top. Continue alternating for 30 to 60 seconds.

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