Stretches for Shoulder Flexibility & Mobility (17 min follow along)

hi i'm kathy here with another practice along video today's video is all about getting your shoulders really open with some deep yoga stretches and different ways to stretch this will both help deepen your back bends and also help you create a nice straight vertical line for those interested in handstands what you'll need for today's practice and feel free to use you know whatever you have around the house but a couple props something you can elevate under your shoulders a strap something you can put in your hands and some light weights and again just get creative really all this stuff you can use without the prop so if you don't have them still practice with me and make sure you have some wall space let's get started standing with your feet hips distance apart bring your fingertips to your shoulders and just take a moment and feel the shoulder blades retract towards the spine that means they go in towards the spine so your elbows will go behind you and now i want you to circle your elbows your arms so you'll bring your elbows forward try to actually have them touch and then all the way up back down and we'll just keep going in this direction forward up back and down now you might hear some cracking in your shoulder joint that is completely normal and okay as long as it's not associated with any pain we'll go one more and switch directions so big circles try to get those elbows see if you can get them to touch really feeling the arm bone your upper arm bone move in the shoulder socket we'll do one more and release grab your strap take whatever you're using and raise your arms above your head widen your hands into a kind of v shape and we will bring our arms behind us and focus on moving your shoulder blades in towards the spine and as you bring your arms above you and then in front of you allow the shoulder blades to draw away from the spine and we'll keep going here so we'll move up behind us now as you go behind try not to flare out your ribs keep those front ribs moving down we'll do a few more rounds this is called a shoulder flossing it really helps to increase the mobility in your shoulder joint and even the scapula your shoulder blades let's go one more forward and you'll release your strap we'll move to the wall now and take a stretch at the wall this stretch of the wall targets the pec muscles you'll start facing the wall your palm will be on the wall thumb pointing up and you'll begin to move your shoulder towards the wall and have your upper arm bone externally rotated that means it's rolling away from the wall so you'll begin that external rotation and you'll start to make contact with your shoulder towards the wall there's a little bit of space there and then you are turning your body or chest away from the wall so i even turned my feet and breathe here now you could turn as much as you have movement right but don't overdo it breathing a couple more breaths use your inhale to come out and we'll switch sides so left hand down thumb is up walk towards the wall get pretty close to the wall and then begin to turn your chest away move your feet and breathe so you can see it really gets into the pec minor here and kind of the lateral part of the pec muscle major we'll breathe so in our back bend practice we have two kind of categories of back bends one where the arms go behind us like this and one where they go above us so all the stretches today will work both another breath and release by turning and facing the wall then you'll release your arm let's go back to our mat come to stand have your feet hips distance apart bring your arms into a 90 degree angle we'll just kind of work this rotation of the upper arm bone it's called external rotation moving to the posterior side the back side of your body and we'll go down now and then up and really trying to isolate this external rotation we'll go down and up it's a little micro movement down when we get to this top point of really rotating back as you go down next time allow the shoulders to internally rotate and clasp your hands behind you so you'll see the head of your shoulder is moving forward i want you to now draw your shoulder blades towards the spine and at the same time begin to work your hands away from your hips now if you can't clasp your hands no worries you'll use that strap we'll begin to open up our chest so we're stretching the pec muscles here the large muscles in the in our chest and the pec minor the smaller uh chest muscle there that attaches to the arm we're coming into a bit of a back bend so engage your glutes here as you really open your chest we're letting gravity kind of help to stretch us here and now come up with a straight spine bend your knees allow your sit bones to go back and we'll go in the opposite direction so we're utilizing gravity a couple different ways here as we fold so we've got a deep bend in our knees bring your chest towards your thighs so we're not focusing so much on stretching our hamstrings or backs of our legs today i really want you to focus on your shoulders so we're releasing the hamstrings a little bit draw your shoulder blades in towards your spine now straighten your left leg keep your right knee bent you'll rotate over to the left and switch and release come down onto your shins we'll take a couple stretches here so bring your arms back to that 90 degree angle draw your shoulder blades towards the spine open up your chest so moving your spine into extension and as you exhale protract your shoulders so that means they move away from the spine try to bring your elbows all the way to touch so your spine is in flexion now we'll continue on so inhale these are kneeling cat cows and exhale the more we can get mobility in our thoracic spine helps to open up our shoulders for various postures we'll take one more and we'll release you might need a strap for this next one i'll turn to the back so that you can see it this is cow face arms if you're using a strap you'll place it in your right hand reach your right arm up and now begin to point your fingers you'll bend your elbow and point your fingers down your spine see if you can do it without using the support of your opposite hand first so this is more like active flexibility and then we'll take our left hand should you need a little bit of assistance here to move your elbow to point up to the ceiling fingertips point down breathe so we're stretching along the tricep and the serratus anterior the lats we're getting all this that can get really tight this is such a good shoulder stretch now on the opposite arm we'll stretch different muscles more of the anterior deltoid so we'll rotate the elbow or sorry the shoulder the upper arm bone inward so that we can bend the arm and here's where you might need a strap in between your hands and you can actively pull the strap away from you we'll hold this for several breaths keep your belly button pulling into your spine elbows work towards the midline of your body so they'r

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