Shoulder stretches for your delts are often overlooked when it comes to a complete stretching routine. Not sure why this is, but regardless this is a problem that you cannot afford to keep making if you want to build bigger, healthier shoulders. In this video, I’m going to show you the three best stretches for your shoulders (front delt, middle delt and rear delt) and how to perform each by the time you are done watching.
The key is to first understand the anatomy of the deltoid muscle as well as the individual heads. Once you know this, you can reverse engineer the functions of the muscle head to come up with the perfect stretch for each one.
Beginning with the front deltoid, this muscle belly originates on the lateral one third of your clavicle or collar bone. From here, the muscle travels laterally and down your arm to a point on the outside of your upper arm bone. In order to get a good stretch on the anterior deltoid you will have to create as much of a gap as you can between these two points without sacrificing the integrity of your shoulder joint in the process.
The best way to stretch your shoulder anterior delt is to clasp your hands behind your back and begin raising them up as high as you can. Once you have elevated your hands as high as they can go behind your back you now need to focus on getting that clavicle of yours to go as far forward as you can. This is easily achieved by pushing your chest forward as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. From here you should feel a great stretch on the front of your shoulder that you will want to hold for 45-60 seconds.
Next, we move onto the middle delt. This is one of those areas of the delts that people actually do try and stretch, though unsuccessfully. This is because we forget to include one of the most important aspects of the stretch to really hit the middle delt. That is, flattening the arm across the chest to drop the insertion further away from the origin at the peak point of the stretch. This shoulder stretch is the one that is likely to make your shoulders feel so much better right away, simply because it is one that you probably haven’t felt this good before.
Finally, we have to stretch out the rear head of the delts. This portion originates on the lateral aspect of the spine of your scapula. This is part of your shoulder blade and can be felt by reaching over your shoulder and grabbing onto the ridge that you feel on the top. From here, the posterior deltoid muscle runs around the side of the arm and down to the same point on the upper arm as the other heads.
In order to really stretch this muscle head out you want to obviously bring your arm in front of your body (since the muscle brings it behind the body when it contracts). The issue here is that most people tend to want to lift the arm up as they bring it across their chest in order to better hit the rear delt. This is a mistake. Particularly if you have any type of shoulder impingement since this would create a shortening of the intra-articular space that could aggravate an already sore shoulder. Instead, scoop the elbow while dropping your shoulder a bit in order to keep the upward angle without having to risk the impingement that might come from simply lifting your shoulder up.
As you can see, the deltoid is a muscle that needs stretching just like any other muscle. Simply thinking that there is only one stretch that will get the job done however is wrong. You need to stretch each head of the deltoid in a specific way if you want to do this most effectively. Try these out and feel the instant relief and when you are ready to get started on a complete training program to stop overlooking anything else in your workouts, head to http://athleanx.com and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System.
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