Best Shoulder Stretch – hanging from a bar

Shoulders are the most mobile joints of our bodies. Each shoulder attaches an arm to our torso and lets us move them in basically whichever way we want.

This outstanding mobility in the shoulder joint is also what makes it very fragile. In our sedentary office lifes we don’t need much of this full range of motion. We are working very forward driven and internally rotated (PC work, smartphones etc).

Head-aches, neck and shoulder pain are common side-effect of this.

Neck and shoulder pain
Neck and shoulder pain

That’s why we have to make a real effort to keep as much shoulder mobility as possible. Stretching and mobility work is what we can do to keep and also enhance this mobility.

For years, I personally had very poor shoulder mobility, couldn’t move my arms very high above my head without starting to use my spine to reach this point.

Our bodies always find a way to compensate for lack in mobility and if they don’t and we force it, we will hurt ourselves. Again, speaking from personal experience, I disclocated my shoulder once. It’s nothing I aim to redo ever.

My Shoulder Health Routine

From that moment on I took much better care of all my joints, but especially my shoulders.

There are 3 things I do (almost) daily to keep my body as mobile and strong as I can:

  1. morning mobility/yoga flow, where I focus on waking up my body, moving through my shoulder, hip joints, but also get my ankles and my spine moving.
  2. a little bit of strength work with resistance bands (takes around 5 minutes twice a day), to get my rear deltoids and my rotator cuff strong & neck and shoulder stretches
  3. more focussed strenght work in the gym concerning my rear deltoirds, rotator cuff and upper back

One of the best things I added to my life in order to increase my shoulder health is hanging from a pull-up bar. It’s really simple and you can do it whenever you walk across one.

Here’s a short video of me describing and showing you how to work on shoulder pain and stiffness. As said, it’s also a great way to keep your shoulders stretched and healthy.

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How to hang from a bar

You just get your arms overhead, a little wider than your shoulders, and hang. While you hang there, take a very deep and slow inhale. This will be hard work and not only stretch your shoulder, but also your ches, rib cage, upper back and neck.

Keep this fully inhaled state for a couple of seconds and the fully exhale. This will be hard work again and lengthen and stretch your upper body even more.

Shoulder Joint
Shoulder Joint

Again, keep this fully exhaled state a few seconds and repeat the cycle with an inhale.

Please note that breathing is what makes this exercise meaningful. Make an effort to take deep inhales and exhales.

Do this for around 2 to 3 minutes. You can also add this to the end of your workout routines. In case you cannot hang from the bar that long yet, just work up to the 2 or 3 minutes. Hang as long as you can, take a short break and hang again until your set is done.

Share this article with a friend who needs to work on his shoulder health or mobility. I would love to read your comments and thoughts. Just leave them below.

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