Yoga Warmup - Shoulder Stretch

Yoga Warmup - Shoulder Stretch

This warmup stretch stretches the shoulders and partially also chest and biceps. All you need is a yoga mat to protect your knees and a short rope or a strap. This shoulder stretch is a good warmup exercise for bridges etc. Find more yoga lessons at yoga main.


  • Kneel down and sit on your heels with your upper body upright. Hold a strap or a rope in front of your chest with your elbows totally extended. The closer your hands are together, the harder this shoulder stretch is. At the beginning, try this with your hands about 2 shoulder widths apart. Start like this: Extend your arms in front of your chest, look straight forward and breath slowly and concentrated.
  • Lift your fully extended arms slowly and concentrated and inhale at the same time. Don't swing your arms fast. The circle your hands make has to be as large as possible... So don´t bend your elbows, keep your chest high and don't let your shoulders hang. Also make sure you keep looking straight forward.
  • The difference between the first and the second half of the circle is, that you inhale during the first half and exhale during the 2nd half. So lower your hands behind the back without bending the elbows and exhale slowly. If your shoulders are not flexible enough for this, don´t create momentum to let your hands pass. Just move as far as you can (max: to horizontal level) and the next time hold your strap with your hands a bit further apart. Keep your chest high and look straight forward.
  • Hold the strap behind the back and keep exhaling until all the air is gone from your lungs. Then start inhaling slowly and move back up and exhale as you move forward down. Don't forget that the whole motion has to be very slow and as wide as possible !


  • If you are a beginner, don't try to hold the strap with your hands too close together.
  • Move slowly and concentrate on your breathing. Sit upright and keep your arms totally extended.


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