How to Improve Range of Motion in Shoulder

Shoulders are known to be the joint which attracts the most injuries. This is due to its large possible range of motion. We can improve range of motion in the shoulder through various means. Namely avoiding injury, and engaging in a specific kind of stretching, called Proprioneurofacilitation (PNF).


Proprioneurofacilitation Stretching (PNF)

From my clinical experience as a Shoulder Specialist, I have found that PNF stretching yields the best results every time, in regards to improving range of motion in the shoulder. This is further supported by numerous studies.


PNF consists of 3 various methods, but the most lucrative in my opinion is the hold-relax.

For the example of improving shoulder flexion, the basic technique is;

Step 1: Move your arm into shoulder flexion until medium/strong stretch.

Step 2: Then push against a partner’s held resistance, or a stationary object i.e. a doorway, for 50% of effort for 5 seconds.

Step 3: Finally relax, and as you do this step through the doorway a little, or have your partner guide your arm into greater shoulder flexion.


This technique is to be completed with caution, as if done incorrectly, can cause further injury. This is because stretching elicits the inverse myotatic reflex, a protective reflex that inhibits further motion of the muscle to prevent injury. If you are under any doubt, book your free Physio call, where a Physio is able to guide you through this to improve range of motion in your shoulder.