Mobility For Athletes: Intense Shoulder Stretch

This intense shoulder stretch is a great warm up to open the front of your shoulder, from your Deltoid down through your Subscapularis (see image below). Lengthening of the muscles in the shoulder area will help reduce the possibility of overuse injuries that are common in sports like Olympic weightlifting and football. Perform this stretch daily to maintain a healthy, stable and pain free shoulder!

Instruction & Cues

  • Come to the mat face down, with the front of your body evenly placed on the mat.
  • Start by placing your right arm palm down, straight out and perpendicular to your body.
  • Press the front of your shoulder into the ground as you bend your left arm with the hand by your face which will act as support move into the stretch.
  • Using your left hand to press into the ground, on the exhale, roll onto your side.
  • Place your left foot behind your right leg for an additional spinal twist and to intensify the shoulder stretch.
  • Hold for approximately 60 seconds while breathing evenly, pressing the shoulder into the ground.
  • Come back to the mat face down, even with the front of your body and repeat on the other side.
muscular image of the shoulder


To lesson the intensity, leave your left leg stacked over the right leg, leaving out the spinal twist.

Thank you to California Strength NFL Combine Athlete, Jake Simonich for demonstrating this movement. As you can see, this stretch can be done by ANY size athlete.

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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