Exercise of the Day: Shoulder Range of Motion Week Day 1

Who’s up for a theme week?!

[Pause for wild cheers]

Massage therapists work their whole bodies, but shoulder health is particularly important for this profession. So we decided to devote this entire week on the blog to stretches that will help you maintain or increase the range of motion in your shoulders.

This first stretch is a classic, but it can be challenging. Standing tall, try to meet your fingers behind your back—the closer you can get your hands, the more stretch you’ll feel. Try to keep your upper arms as close to your body as you can, so your forearms make a nearly vertical line. Hold for 10 seconds or more, then repeat on the other side.

Denise demonstrating a shoulder range of motion technique. Her hands are clasped behind her back; one arm reaching over her left shoulder, one reaching up from her waist on the right-hand side.

It’s not uncommon to have your available range vary from shoulder to shoulder, so don’t worry if your fingers don’t meet on one or both sides. If that’s the case, try this variation:

Denise demonstrating a modified shoulder range of motion technique. Her hands are behind her back; one arm reaching over her right shoulder, one reaching up from her left side waist. She is holding a band between her two hands instead of clasping her hands.

Denise has just folded up a dynaband to create a little “extender” between her two hands. As you continue to do this stretch, your range of motion will likely improve and you can get your hands closer together or even abandon the dynaband altogether!

Massage is a physical profession, and RMTs need to stay active to be at the top of their game. A good therapist will also be well-versed in exercises that will benefit their clients. Vicars students recieve training in remedial exercise, and our “remex” sessions incorporate exercises and stretches from many sports and athletic traditions. Practice along with us!

Each exercise is demonstrated by Denise Currie. In addition to being an RMT (and our Director!), Denise is a personal fitness trainer and highly regarded yoga practitioner who regularly trains other teachers.