How to Loosen Up Your Shoulders

Release Tension with Arm Circles

Stretch and Arm Circle
Wendy Bumgardner ©

The backstroke arm circles or windmills will take your shoulders through a full range of motion to "release" your shoulder tension. For those who work at a desk or computer all day, it helps open up the chest to relieve the hunched-over posture. It gets your arms loosened up so you will be able to use powerful arms in your walking, as well as help relieve shoulder and neck tightness.

  • Stand up straight with good posture.
  • Hands loose, palms out.
  • Leading with your pinky, raise your left arm with elbow straight and circle it up over your head and back around in a backstroke-like direction.
  • If you feel any pain, do not continue with this exercise.
  • Windmill 10-15 times on one side.
  • Now do the same with the right arm while the left arm rests.
  • To practice a full range of motion so that you are keeping the arm as close to the body as possible, walk alongside a wall with the windmilling arm next to the wall.
  • Do the windmills as slow as you need to maintain a smooth motion.

More: How to Look 15 Pounds Thinner with a Wall Exercise

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