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Injured shoulders and healthy shoulders both require exercises that increase their range of motion. The exercise that inches your hands up a wall is an easy-to-learn movement to improve your shoulder flexibility. Wall walking is a gentle exercise to help you return to every day activities after an injury and to stay pain free. Always speak with your doctor before you perform any shoulder exercise to receive the best treatment plan or shoulder stretch for you.
Your shoulders will respond better to the inching-up-a-wall exercise if your muscles are warm. For 5 to 10 minutes prior to your flexibility exercise, perform full-body warm-up movements. Select activities such as walking, dancing, marching in place, stair climbing or rowing and move your arms as you do them. Use an intensity level that elevates your heart rate and causes you to sweat, but do not exercise so hard that you are winded.
Basic Wall-Walking Exercise
The wall-walking exercise is considered an active movement. You are doing the work and your shoulder joint is moving. Locate a clear wall and stand an arms-length from it. Face the wall, straighten your right arm in line with your shoulder and place your fingers on the wall. Inch your fingers up the wall by walking them like a spider moves his legs -- one or two fingers at a time. Once you reach as high as is comfortable, maintain the stretch for 10 seconds. Slowly walk your fingers down and repeat twice more. Then, complete the exercise on your left arm.
Another way to perform the inching-up-a-wall exercise is to stand perpendicular to the wall with your shoulder toward the wall. Extend your right arm out to your right side in line with your shoulder. Place your fingers on the wall and then walk them as high as possible. Hold the stretch at the top for 10 seconds and then slowly walk your fingers down the wall. Complete the exercise on your left shoulder. As your flexibility and strength increase, gradually increase the duration of the stretch until you are able to hold the position for 30 seconds.
Water Wall-Walking Exercise
A liquid environment provides a unique training tool for your wall-walking exercise and helps improve your functional flexibility. The water in a pool creates a slight resistance to help increase your strength as you inch your hands up the wall, as water is denser than the air. Warm up in the water first with walking, jogging, or swimming. Stand in water that is chest to shoulder deep and reach your hand out to touch the wall at shoulder level. If the wall of your pool is high enough, walk your hand up the wall and hold the stretch. If the wall is not taller than you, slowly bend your knees and lower into a squat as you walk your fingers up the wall until you feel the stretch.