Mobility For Athletes: The Half Cross (Shoulder Stretch)

A few weeks ago we discussed shoulder mobility with regards to the overhead and front rack position. This week we narrow our focus to the head of the shoulder cuff and surrounding deltoid area. With many facets of the shoulder, it is important to isolate and work on each area for optimal shoulder mobility and flexibility.

Setup Instructions and Cues

  • Come to the mat face down, resting on your elbows.
  • Extend your right arm straight out in front of you.
  • Thread your left arm underneath your right arm (placed near the crook of your armpit).
  • On the inhale, line up the top of your shoulder against the ground, with your entire left arm resting flat on the floor, palm up.
  • On the exhale, fold your body over your left arm while pressing the left arm into the floor.
  • Continue to deepen the stretch with each exhale. Think about flattening your body evenly on to the floor and rest your forehead on the ground.
  • Hold for a minimum of 40 seconds (if you are doing this stretch prior to working out) and then switch sides. If you are doing this after your workout, hold each side for two (2) minutes.

Only go so deep as you feel a solid stretch. Discomfort is expected, but you shouldn't feel pain, sharp or otherwise.

Sandra Arechaederra has actively practiced yoga for years but maintains a focus on its application for improving athletic performance. Sandra is an accomplished Olympic weightlifter in her own right, having medaled at the 2010 USA National Championship Meet, she continues her work with the California Strength weightlifting team on a weekly basis for mobility training and runs a mobility program implemented with the California Strength NFL Combine Prep Class every year. Sandra has her 200 RYT credential as a certified Yoga Teacher.

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