Shoulder rotation stretch

You'll feel this stretch all around your shoulders because it targets the smaller, deeper muscles known as your rotator cuff and the front part of your deltoid known as the anterior deltoid. You need a stretching strap (see Chapter 2 for more details about straps) or towel for this stretch.

To do this stretch, follow these steps:

1. Stand up very tall with your feet about hip-width apart.

2. Grab each end of your towel or strap with your palms down and resting in front of your thighs (see Figure 4-7a).

3. Straighten your arms and inhale as you raise your arms overhead (see Figure 4-7b).

4. Exhale and take your arms farther behind your head without arching your back.

5. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds or for four to five slow, deep breaths.

If you're having trouble keeping your back straight, check out the lying arm circles stretch from Chapter 8. That exercise may help remind your body of how to keep your core stable as you move your shoulders.

A few do's and don'ts for this stretch:

1 Do keep your arms symmetrical as you hold the stretch. 1 Do progress through the stretch gradually and slowly. i Do stand up tall as you hold the stretch. 1 Don't twist to either side. 1 Don't bounce or force the stretch.

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