Release tight shoulders with a seated deltoid stretch

Welcome to our weekly Move of the Week series. Every Monday, we’ll be sharing with you one of our favourite exercises – how to do them, what muscles they work and why they should be a regular part of your workout regime. This week: seated deltoid stretch.     

After a weekend hard at the mill (read: office), your shoulders are up by your ears and your back is screaming. Those deltoids work hard every day and yet, we don’t look after them at all. 

While your best bet is probably having a work station assessment, stretching and strengthening can help. The seated deltoid stretch is a move that offers almost instant relief and can be done pretty much anywhere.

What is a seated deltoid stretch?

A seated deltoid stretch is a super simple but effective move that works well in a warm-up, cool-down or as a five minute break from your desk. You don’t need any equipment: just somewhere on the floor to sit. 

The exercise is great because:

It releases tight shoulders and backs: we’re looking to twist and rotate from the core, not the neck.

It can prevent injuries or reduce pain: not enough of us rotate. By getting us to twist, we’re preparing our bodies to move in different directions which means we’re more able to turn around if we’re running and need to change course, twist to meet the ball or look over our shoulder to see what’s going on over in the other side of the office!

It’s incredibly simple: you don’t need any equipment or fancy gym clothes. This is a stretch you could do next to your desk, in the living room, on a beach or in the weights room.

What muscles does seated deltoid stretch work?

A seated deltoid stretch is a move that primarily targets the upper body muscles:

  • Deltoids (shoulders)
  • Latissimus dorsi (lower mid-back)
  • Rhomboideus (upper mid-back)
  • Triceps

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How to do a seated deltoid stretch

  1. Sit on your mat, cross legged
  2. Take your right arm behind you, keeping it straight, so that your fingers are on the floor.
  3. Bend the right knee to bring your foot flat on the ground next to your left knee (keeping that left leg bent on the ground)
  4. Stretch your left arm out front and slowly, start to twist round to the right
  5.  Bring that left elbow to rest just above the right knee and twist from the torso to look over your right shoulder
  6. Stay there for a few seconds before slowly releasing and repeating the process on the opposite side

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