The final stretch of January’s month long shoulder love is…Eagle Arms! The full version of this stretch can be a little tricky, so I’ve provided an accessible beginner modification for everyone. This will stretch the deltoids and rotator cuff muscles, as well as the upper back slightly. I don’t advise doing this stretch for people with shoulder injuries. You won’t need anything but your arms for this one 🙂
How to do the Eagle Arms Stretch:
- You can do this stretch seated or standing, just make sure to keep the spine tall and long. Begin by reaching your arms out in front of you, palms facing downward.
- Then cross your arms and wrap them around yourself, like you are giving yourself a hug, with the right arm on top of the left arm.
- Refer to top left photo marked beginner. If you can reach the fingertips to the medial (inner) border of the scapula (shoulder blade), then you can try for the advanced version. If you can’t get your elbows stacked over each other or reach the inner border of the shoulder blade, then stay here.
- Advanced: from this hugging position bend the elbows so the finger tips point to the ceiling.
- Gently push the right elbow into the crease of the left elbow. The backs of the hands should be facing each other.
- Now bring the right hand to the right and the left hand to the left so you can sneak the right hands palm passed the left pinky finger. The palms should now be facing each other and you can try to get the hands to line up with each other as best you can. See bottom left photo. Your forearms are now nicely twisted together.
- Whether you are doing the advanced or the Beginner position, you can start to pull the arms away from the chest as shown in the right top and bottom photos.
- You are trying to create space between the arms and the chest here, and you should feel an increased stretch through the deltoids and upper back. Do not collapse forward, try to keep the spine straight.
- Stay here for 30 secs or longer, and you can repeat it 3-5 times. Then do the other side.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this past months stretches! See you in February!
Questions? Please email me at email@example.com and follow Rachel Lackowski on Instagram for more stretches.