You’ve been diligent about strength training, but now your shoulders are so tight that even lifting your purse is painful. A key to weightlifting is a regular stretching routine. Your stiff shoulders may likely be the result of tight chest muscles. The two muscle groups work in conjunction for numerous movements, such as bringing your arm across your body. The door stretch targets both the chest and the shoulder and can help to loosen the tight muscles.
Stand in the center of an open doorway with your right shoulder and arm next to the right side of the doorjamb. Separate your legs to be hip-width apart and toes pointing forward. Rest your arms by your sides. Pull your stomach muscles in and push the shoulder blades down your back. Lift your chest and maintain a straight spine.
Bend your right elbow to 90 degrees. Place the forearm on the doorjamb.
Turn your head to look over your left shoulder. Simultaneously rotate the left shoulder back until you feel a stretch in your right shoulder. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
- Keep your hips facing forward while the shoulder is rotating back to maximize the stretch.
- Move gently with all rotations. Avoid any jerking and allow your shoulder to move back in a slow, controlled manner.
- Focus on your form while stretching. Improper form can pull your body out of alignment, which may lead to injuries.
- Avoid forcing the rotation; only bring the shoulder back as far as it will naturally go.
- Discontinue the stretch if you feel any pain in your shoulder, chest or back. Consult a physician regarding any pain.
Beth Rifkin has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2005. Her bylines include "Tennis Life," "Ms. Fitness," "Triathlon Magazine," "Inside Tennis" and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University.