Modified Child Pose Stretch for Shoulder Opening

A modified child pose exercise to help open the shoulders.

  • On hands and knees position nod your chin to elongate your neck.
  • Keep your elbows underneath your shoulders and line your hands up so that your forearms come in line. The long finger lines up at the shoulders so you are almost square across the forearms. That’s your starting position.
  • We’re also going to think about maintaining a neutral spine in your back. Think about your tail bone being long and coming back into a child pose.
  • Stretching back and bringing your hips over your heels so you get some stretching through the arm pits or through the lat muscles, as well as in through your upper back.
  • It shouldn’t be painful in the shoulders. If you’re getting pain in the top of the shoulders then stop and come out of this position.
  • In this position we’re going to get you breathing into your armpits, trying to create width through the chest.
  • As you breathe out, soften the chest and lengthen the tail bone so you’re creating length in the spine.

You can maintain for a hold for 30 to 60 seconds, or you can work with breath. Sometimes people like to give 3 or 4 or 5 breaths in this position, and as you’re breathing out you’re sinking a little bit deeper.