Shoulder Stretch to Fix Your Shoulders (GET DEEP!)

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Shoulder pain is one of the most common ailments that derail a good workout. Most often, a few shoulder stretches are all that is needed to not just correct the issue but prevent it from occurring in the first place. That said, not many know how to properly stretch their shoulder to help stop shoulder pain from killing their workouts. In this video, I show you one of the most common shoulder maladies that causes discomfort when lifting and how to assess whether you are suffering from it so that you can fix it.

The shoulder joint is wrapped tightly by a fibrous structure called a capsule. The shoulder capsule has a posterior portion that is responsible for providing integrity and support to the humerus within the ball and socket. When the muscles surrounding the shoulder get tight (in particular the rotator cuff) those muscles have a tendency to push the head of the humerus forward in the shoulder joint. Once there, the capsule can begin to adaptively shorten which leads to much more chronic and serious changes in the joint.

To prevent shoulder capsule shrinking and tightness, you must have a way to stretch this structure out. First however, you need to determine whether or not the tightness you feel is from the capsule or from another muscle or muscles in and around the shoulder.

I show you a posterior capsule test that will help you to figure out what you are dealing with. Lie on your back with your arm fully internally rotated. Be sure that you are internally rotating the arm at the shoulder and not just pronating your forearm. From there, hold your arm perpendicular to the ground at ninety degrees and make sure that your back doesn’t roll and your shoulder blade does not lose contact with the ground.

Try to bring your arm across your chest. If you can get the outside of your elbow to cross your chest midline then you likely don’t have a tight posterior capsule and instead are dealing with either a tight posterior delt or lat. Stretches can be seen for those in future videos here on our channel.

The sleeper stretch as shown in this video is great for stretching out the posterior shoulder capsule and helping you to restore normal mobility within the shoulder joint. Be sure not to crank on your arm too much during this stretch and aim to complete it a few times each week for 45-60 seconds each time until you get up to 70 degrees of internal rotation back to your shoulder and can almost touch the ground with the fingers on the affected side.

If you want a complete workout program that helps you to restore maximum mobility and flexibility to unlock your greatest strength and size gains ever, be sure to head to and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System. Start using the same program used by hundreds of top professional athletes in all major sports to start reaping the rewards that these all stars see from their training.

For more videos on how to stretch your shoulders as well as how to stretch your hips and back, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube at


J P says:

Ñe…I could take it or leave it

Doroshenko YOGA says:

Nice and easy 👍 thanks

sebastien lepage says:

im an ironworker i carry rebar all day this stretch is a huge help ty very much

Fitlife Style says:

It’s work😱😱😱😳

Will K says:

Soooo if I can rotate my arm all the way to the floor, that means I don't have any tightness? I feel the stretch, but I can still rotate my arm that much.

Ksenia V says:

Several months ago I woke up with an excruciating pain in my arm and didn’t get a relief for a few days. It was horrible. While the pain went away, I couldn’t figure out what caused it. After spending hours on google and seeing specialists, this video has solved the mystery for me. Thank you!!! I needed this stretch.

Huda Samater says:

Words can't explain how I felt after this stretch. Thank you so much.

sok dag says:

Jeff is saying do internal rotation and he is really trying not to cry

Anthony Wallace says:

Bro ur arm is fucked

Luke Dunn says:

Will this help improve external rotation also??

Dodong Angki says:

Thanks sir,verry helpful..God bless

Rajat puri says:

Thank for halp

Brian K says:

I'm going to try this while I sleep with the weight from my one arm stretching the other arm's shoulder

L W says:

So I’m assuming you do both shoulders?? If not, wouldn’t that cause more of an imbalance? Also, so you retract the shoulder that is on the ground? Just trying to make sure before I do this. I’m also doing pec stretch and subscap per his recommendation from another video on tight internal rotators.

Mytch Meadows says:

Great videos! I have a question…In 2019 had a posterior shoulder dislocation and suffered an impact fracture to the ball of the humerus at point of contact. In a surgical procedure in March, 2021 The BALL joint was replaced in the "Ream & Run" procedure done as an ATHLETIC PROSTHESIS, JUST the Ball joint. In the surgery I was told the biceps tendon was frayed and the doctor repaired it. My current problem is the tighness I get when raising my arm up overhead. The tightness is in the top front of the shoulder, where the biceps tendon attaches, and the area around the scapula/lats which aren't as "Mobile". I seem to get more relief when I workout the biceps with curls and then some stretching. But I still can't get the scapula to move as independently as it should. Do you have any advice on how to get the flexibility back in these areas. Doc told me I should be close to 100% after two years, and although I DO workout and go to P.T. once a week, I'm also 67 years young, and the process isn't as fast as I was hoping for. A previous patient was able to resume powerlifting after having the same surgical procedure done, but he was a much younger man, in his 30s. Thanks for ALL you do to help those of us in need.

Scott Howard says:

Would this be OK to do with AC Joint degenerative changes arthiritis? I often sleep on my side with hand under pillow and arm at external rotation so basically the opposite of what your doing. Is this why it's called the sleeper stretch??

Kalem Dancy says:

My shoulder has been popping and hurting like hell for months after a car wreck. This has helped more than seeing a chiropractor for 7 months. Thank you so much

Sarang Madhani says:


Brian Blankenship says:

Geez. I hope that’s not Jesse.

Austen Lewis says:

How do I fix my anterior shoulder capsule ? Do I have to get surgery or are there stretches or exercises to get it back right ? I’ve been dealing with constant pain for over 4 years please help. Thanks in advance.

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