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5 Exercises for Shoulder Strength and Mobility

If you’re getting back to the gym and you feel your shoulders cranking, we have some exercises for you. Luka Hocevar walked us through some of his favorite exercises for improving shoulder strength and mobility.


Hanging Decompression

30-60 seconds


This is Dr. Kirsch’s hanging protocol. I’m going to hang, bring my feet in front of me, bring my ribs down, and my neck back. My elbow is going to be right in line with my ears. I’m going to keep tension in my shoulders and hang for as long as I can. I feel the stretch in my lats and pecs.  

Lying Half Circles

8-10 reps per side


This is going to open my upper back. I’m going to put my knee on a foam roller, so I don’t rotate my lower back. I’m going to reach out with my hand, keep my thumb down and try to go all the way around while I’m looking at my hand. I make sure my knees don’t come off the roller and I exhale. Then I repeat this process. 

Scapular Cards

8-10 reps both ways


I bring my arms out to the sides and reach forward as far as I can with just my shoulder blades. Then I elevate and bring them back down and forward. I go up as high as I can and then bring them back down. When I reach, I’m not leaning with my body just my shoulder blades.  

Band Pulls

10-12 reps


The key here is I squeeze my glutes, get my abs tight, and keep my pinkies up in the air. I rip the band apart and pull it as long as possible. Keep your chin tucked in and control the bands on the way back. Keep the chest open as much as possible and feel your shoulder blades moving away from each other.  

Downward Dog

8-10 reps


To work my shoulders, I’m going to go in a push up position. And from there I’m going to drive the ground away. Once I do that, I reach across, push away and reach across, then come back to the starting position.  

Date April 20, 2023
Category Training