Home Exercises for Stiff and Frozen Shoulder

As a means to relieve frozen shoulder patients, some home exercises can be administered to them by medical experts. These are simple activities that can be practiced at home to ease the pain and stiff shoulders. The exercises are minor, safe, and simple ones that won’t lead to more damage to the affected shoulders.

Shoulder Stretching Activities

If you feel that your shoulder has gone stiff, move the shoulder around to ease the tension. Stretching exercises calm the tissue down, thereby leading to a reduction in pain. The movements listed below can be done at home by the patient while using the unaffected arm as a means of support.

They are:

  1. Shoulder Roll Exercise

The shoulder blade squeeze can be done while standing or sitting

● Start by standing or sitting straight.

● Proceed to pull your shoulders up, almost reaching your ears. 

● Squeeze your shoulder blades before dropping the shoulder down.

● Make sure your shoulders move forward as you continue to roll your shoulders

● Do the shoulder rolls gently. Repeat this up to 40 times. Take breaks in between. 

  1. Towel Stretch

A towel of about 3 inches long is required for this exercise.

● Pick the towel while standing or sitting straight.

● Place the towel over your unaffected arm and pull it with the other arm that is affected.

● Tug gently on the towel at each end.

● When a stretch is felt in the affected shoulder, remain in the position for some seconds.

● Repeat gently about ten times.

  1. Overhead Shoulder Stretch

● Begin by standing in a straight position. Make sure your feet are shoulder wide apart.

● Try to raise your affected arm with the unaffected arm up.

● With your elbows bent, raise the arm behind your neck gently but gradually.

● Use the unaffected arm to hold the bent elbow and pull behind your head.

● Remain in that position for about 30 seconds.

● Repeat this five times.

  1. Neck Release Stretch

To make neck stretches;

● Stand straight-up with your arms to your sides and your feet hip-width apart.

● By looking forward, your shoulder and back must be kept straight.

● Bend your neck towards the side with your ear touching your shoulder. Do this for both the left and the right sides.

● Once you feel a stretch at each side, stay in that position for 10 to 15 seconds.

● Repeat this on each side five times each.

  1. Shoulder Circles

● First, stand straight and place your arms by your side. Make sure your feet are shoulder wide apart.

● Move your arm in a circular motion. Start small, then increase the speed and size of the circle. Continue until you feel a stretch in your upper arm.

● Make the circular motion clockwise and anticlockwise.

● Do this for as long as you can.

  1. Doorway Shoulder Stretch

The doorway shoulder stretch has to be done in front of an open doorway.

● Stand in front of the open doorway.

● Your hands should be raised and bent at the elbow at 90 degrees with your palms on both sides of the doorframe.

● Still standing straight, proceed to place a foot in front of the other. Place the foot as far as you can until a stretch is felt in the shoulder.

● Do this for about 20 seconds and repeat with the other foot.

● Continue for up to 5 times or as long as you can.

  1. Child Pose

The child pose exercise is a posture exercise for stretching the body. You may need a mat for this.

● Stay in a kneeling position on the mat. Make sure your knees are widely spread.

● Rest your belly gently on your thighs.

● Proceed to stretch your arms out in front of you, your palms facing upwards. 

● Take a breath in as your arms are raised and a great out when the arms are pointed forward.

● Raise and lower your arms interchangeably.

● Remain in this position for about 50 seconds, 2 to 5 times a day.

  1. Cross-body Arm Swings

● Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart.

● Place your arms forward and inhale.

● Stretch your arms out and exhale.

● Keep your arms fully stretched apart until a stretch is felt in your chest.

● Swing inwards and outwards while the arms cross over each other.

● Repeat 10-20 times.

  1. Thread The Needle

A mat might be required for this exercise.

● Lay down on the mat with your stomach 

● Knee with your elbows touching the floor. Make your body a tabletop while you knee on all fours.

● Make sure your hips are aligned directly above your knees.

● Your wrists, shoulders, and elbows must be on the same straight line 

● Lift up your right hand and look up while doing so. Proceed to follow the right hand down with your gaze.

● Lift your hips high with your chest resting close to the floor.

● Stay in the position for as long as you can hold on.

● To return to your initial tabletop position, start by unthreading your right hand and following the gaze back up. Do this while resting on your left palm.

● Repeat the same process for your left hand.

  1. Side Lying Thoracic Rotation Stretch

● Lay down on the floor or mat on your right side.

● Make sure your hips and knees are in a bent piston, about 90 degrees.

● Place your hands together and stretch out your arms.

● Your arms must be stretched towards the front of your chest. 

● Rotate your torso towards your left as you breathe out.

● Place your left hand across your body while resting your left shoulder on the floor.

● Remain in the stretch position that leaves your body in a ‘T’- shape.

● Stay in that position for a while before repeating on the other side.

Other examples of stretching exercises for stiff or frozen shoulders are ragdoll pose, shoulder raise, arm lifts, pendulum stretch, etc.

Fitness exercises

Constant aerobics exercises such as jogging, swimming, cycling, hiking, etc., can be added to the daily routine of someone who experiences stiff shoulders frequently. Aerobic exercises deal with more strengthening and stretching routines. Undergoing these fitness programs on a regular basis is beneficial to one’s health. These exercises strengthen the joint and reduce stiffness and pain.

Benefits Of Home Exercises For Stiff And Frozen Shoulder

  1. The shoulder stretching exercises provide improved flexibility to the affected shoulder.
  2. There is a reduction in pain and tension when constant exercise is involved 
  3. Little or no risk of joint and muscle injury.
  4. The act of stretching, strengthening, and rotating the affected shoulder leads to an increase in range of motion.
  5. A better and improved posture.


In the listed above, we many types of exercises that can be done at home. These exercises serve as home remedies to frozen shoulder. The stiff muscle in the shoulder must be moved frequently and not rested to reduce the pain and aid mobility. They are easy to understand and practice without complications. Also, research shows that women are more prone to suffer from frozen shoulders and related complications. The steps provided above will help in such circumstances. Practicing these exercises has been proven to ease frozen shoulders.