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Neck, Upper Back and Shoulder Exercises

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Shoulder Blade Squeeze (Scapular Retract)

Stand straight with legs shoulder width apart, tummy tucked and looking straight ahead. While slowly breathing in, squeeze your shoulder blades together while you open your palms. Pause, then breathe out and relax.
Repeat 6x, 2 sets.

back squeeze
man's back

Shoulder Shrugs

Stand with legs shoulder width apart, tummy tucked and looking straight ahead. Slowly lift shoulders while taking a deep breath. Pause then quickly exhale and drop the shoulders. Repeat 2x, 2 sets, alternating with shoulder blade squeeze.

Man back shrug
back shrug

Shoulder Mobility

Slightly stagger your legs with opposite leg ahead. Make small circles with your arm, gradually making circles as large as possible. Repeat in reverse. Make sure to use your body momentum and swing the arm quickly. Do 10x each direction and then alternate sides.

Moving arm
Arm raised moving

Shoulder hand Clap

Standing straight, lean forward slightly and swing your arms out and in, in a pendulum fashion. Using your body momentum swing them up over your head and clap them together. Repeat 10x.

Man's arms crossed
Arms outstretched
Arms overhead

Cervical Ranges of Motion

Rotation โ€“ Standing straight with feet shoulder width apart and tummy tucked. Slowly rotate your head to the left as far as you can. Pause and then rotate the right as far as you can. Repeat 5x.
Lateral Flexion โ€“ Bend your head towards your right shoulder and pause. Then bend towards your left shoulder and pause. Repeat 5x each way.
Diagonal Flexion โ€“ Rotate your head 45 degrees to the right and bend it down. Hold 5 seconds. Alternate sides. Repeat 5x each side.

Neck to side
Neck tilted
Looking down

External Shoulder Rotation

Bend your arms 90 degrees and tuck elbows against your sides. Slowly rotate your arms outwards while elbows are pinned to your sides. Repeat 2 sets of 10x. To increase difficulty, hold onto resistance tubing with both hands.

Back shoulder rotation
back with arms out

Pectoralis Stretch

Stand beside the outside corner of a wall or a doorway with feet staggered outside foot forward. Raise and bend your inside arm to 90 degrees. Always keep the elbow below shoulder level. Lean your upper body forward and away from the raised arm. Hold for 10-15 secs. Alternate sides. Repeat 3x each side.
Standing in doorway

Side Stretch

Stand with feet shoulder width apart and knees bent. Hold right arm overhead with elbow bent. Slowly bend to left side. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 3x each side. Can also be done in a seated position. For a greater stretch reach elbow diagonally forward.

Stretch overhead
Sitting and stretching

Scooping Stretch

Clasp one hand into the other with palms facing out. Starting with hands at your chest. Scoop out and reach as far as possible. Complete cycle by returning clasped hands to chest. Entire cycle should be done while inhaling. Repeat cycle while exhaling. Repeat 5x, alternate hand clasp.

Stretching arms in front
Arms streched in front
Arms out straight
Moving arms

Row and Fly

Sit on edge of seat with legs shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Bend forward with arms slightly bent and hands at calf level, palms down. Slowly sit up while pulling arms first towards you and then back and away while inhaling. Pause. Then slowly bring arms forward and down while leaning forward and exhaling. Repeat 5-10x. To increase difficulty step on exercise tubing and holding the ends with hands and repeat motion.

Rowing exercise
Arms at side
arms extended


Port Arthur Chiropractic Centre Neck, Upper Back and Shoulder Exercises | (807) 345-9700