Shoulder Mobilization Exercises

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Keep your shoulder limber with these mobility exercises. (Image: Staras/iStock/Getty Images)

Cranky shoulders not only prevent you from doing certain upper body exercises, they can hold you back from fun activities like playing tennis, swimming or even cooking. Your shoulder should typically have a lot of freedom because it is a ball and socket joint, which means that there isn't much preventing it from moving besides your muscles and ligaments. In fact, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the shoulder has more range of motion than any other joint. In order to keep your shoulders healthy and moving freely, you need to take care of the muscles surrounding it.

The Shoulder

Your shoulder has two parts: the actual shoulder joint and the scapula. The shoulder joint is the part that we know as the actual "shoulder," where a bone called the humerus -- the arm bone -- meets the scapula. The scapula -- or shoulder blade -- connects your arm to your rib cage. If your scapula doesn't move well, your should will have less stability and range of motion, according to commentary published in a 2013 issue of the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy.

Shoulder Joint Exercises

After you get your scapula moving, it's time to move on to the actual shoulder joint. The first exercise is a wall circle.


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