Proper Shoulder Warmup: How to Warm Up Shoulders For Runners

Learning how to warm-up your shoulders isn’t rocket science, but remembering to do it before your run can feel like it.

As runners, we often focus on our legs and forget about our upper body. After all, our legs are getting all of the impact, right? While this is true, our shoulder muscles and entire upper body help us move along with every stride–your legs can’t do it alone.

That’s why proper shoulder warmup is one of the key parts of injury prevention. Learning how to warm up your shoulders is critical for efficient running and preventing shoulder joint injuries, such as a rotator cuff muscle injury.

This article will walk you through shoulder warmup exercises, mobility exercises, rotator cuff warmups, and more. 

Proper Shoulder Warmup Is Mission-Critical

One of my favorite things about running is that it’s easy to get out the door without having to put on a lot of equipment or even having to drive anywhere. Simply put on your clothes, lace up your shoes, and get out the door, right?

However, if you want to enjoy running and reap the benefits of the sport long-term, you have to do the simple things to take care of your body and stay injury-free

That means taking five to ten minutes before and after your runs to stretch and build muscles that fuel every run. Having a warm-up routine can help keep you pain-free, and strong!

After all, your legs can’t do it alone. Focus on having a strong core infusing your training runs with upper-body workouts that keep you going strong on a regular basis.

In addition to your leg maintenance, here’s what you’ll need to focus on before and after your runs:

  • Shoulder warmup and mobility
  • Upper body warmup
  • Rotator cuff warmup
  • Core warmup

How to Warm-Up Shoulders

I’m going to share my best shoulder mobility exercise and explain why it’s so helpful. You may a stiff upper back resulting in shoulder pain, but it certainly doesn’t have to that way.

So, take a couple of minutes to warm up your shoulders with 5 of my favorite PVC pipe exercises which can also be done with a broomstick at home.

Why is this important? Your day-to-day lifestyle forces you to round forward over the steering wheel, phone, keyboard, and computer screen.

Your upper back (thoracic spine) and shoulders lose the all-important range of motion and fluidity of movement required to run upright, to rotate smoothly, not to mention to safely and effectively load, lift, hang, swing, and carry.

In this video done for Reebok, I share with you my 5 FAVORITE shoulder exercises that I use daily to improve shoulder range of motion, posture, arm swing, increase blood flow, AND ultimately run technique.

Achy, stiff, cranky shoulder blades? Adding these best exercises into your running program or your daily routine will make a huge difference in getting them back to health!

We hope you enjoy them!

#1 Shoulder Pass

20 regular shoulder passes

Shoulder warm up exercises

#2 Reverse-Hand Shoulder Pass

20 reverse-hand shoulder passes

How to warm up shoulders

#3 Around the World

10 “around the worlds” each side

Upper body warm up exercise

#4 External Rotation Holds

10 x 2-3″ holds external rotation

Best warm up for running

#5 Shoulder Rolls

Don’t have a broom (who doesn’t have a broom?)? Do shoulder rolls instead. Front and back—20 reps each.

Make Your Shoulders a Priority

Try using these shoulder warmup exercises before your next workout for strong, healthy shoulder muscles. Plus, don’t forget to check out our new mobile app for running tips, videos, injury prevention guidelines, and more! Take a look at our training programs and decide which one is best for helping you reach your fitness goals today!