3 Yoga Poses to Relieve Shoulder Blade Pain

Yoga for shoulder blade pain feature

The most common cause of pain between the shoulder blades is muscle strain. The good news is that because the most common cause of shoulder blade pain is poor posture, there are proactive things that we can do to reduce or even eliminate the pain.

Common Causes Of Shoulder Blade Pain

  • Poor posture, hunching your back, tilting your head down
  • Improper lifting technique
  • Overuse

Poor Posture

Bad Posture

Prolonged sitting with poor posture may cause structural changes in your spine that eventually cause pain underneath the shoulder blades. Leaning over or hunching your back at your desk, tilting your head down, or sitting to one side can weaken your muscles and create an imbalance that can contribute to upper back pain or pain in your shoulder joints. It’s a good idea to enact good posture in your day to help avoid pain in your shoulder muscles before it starts. 

Improper Lifting Technique

While lifting weights is amazing for strength, stability, and agility, lifting weight above your head without proper technique can leave your upper back and shoulders susceptible to strain and injury. Lifting objects over your head that are too heavy can strain muscles or sprain ligaments. Lifting dumbbells or barbells over your head without proper form could potentially injure the shoulder joint of the spine, resulting in pain under or near the shoulder blade. It is essential to start with lighter weights and more repetitions or work with a certified personal trainer to ensure that your lifting form and technique will give you the best results while also avoiding injury or being the cause of shoulder blade pain.


You may have a job or have been in a career that has resulted in overuse of the muscles in your upper back and shoulders. Also, activities like painting a ceiling, lifting heavy boxes while moving, or that round of softball, may result in a strain in your upper back,  causing you to need pain relief. Therefore, proper conditioning for these types of actions is so important.

3 Yoga Poses for Shoulder Blade Pain

One of the beautiful things about Yoga is that it can be easily practiced every day to prepare for an express purpose. You don’t have to forgo your strength training workouts or your favorite class at the gym to also practice Yoga. While Yoga can be used to develop great strength and an amazing physique, it is also an excellent relaxation and recovery tool. While there are many Yoga poses that you can do to help with shoulder blade pain, here are 3 of the best:

1. Upward Facing Plank

Upward Facing Plank Pose 2

An upward-facing plank opens the chest and strengthens the hands, wrists, shoulders, and core. It is also great for correcting poor posture!

How to do an Upward Facing Plank:

  • Lie on your back and center yourself on your yoga mat.
  • Place your hands a little behind your hips with the fingers pointing towards the toes, and point your toes.
  • Roll your inner thighs in, draw your belly in and up; as you inhale, lift your hips up as high as you can, keeping your chin to your chest.
  • Firm your shoulder blades on your back to help lift your chest.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades towards each other.
  • Hold the pose for 3-5 breaths.
  • Repeat 2-3 times.

2. Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose yoga for shoulder pain

The Bridge Pose may help relieve low back pain and can counteract slouching. Since a common cause of shoulder blade pain is bad posture due to slouching, looking down, and slumping forward, the Bridge Pose is an excellent response to this issue. This pose gently stretches your abdomen, chest, and the area around your shoulders. An added benefit is that it also strengthens your back muscles, glutes, thighs, and ankles.

How to do the Bridge Pose:

  • Lie on your back and bend your knees. Center yourself on your yoga mat.
  • Adjust your feet and arms.
  • Lift your hips.
  • Tuck your chin.
  • Interlace your hands behind your back.
  • Relax your glutes and engage your inner thighs.
  • Lift your hips higher.
  • Hold the pose for 3-5 breaths.
  • Slowly release.
  • Repeat 2-3 times.

3. Locust Pose

Locust Pose yoga for shoulder pain

Locust Pose stretches and strengthens the back and core muscles, improving your spinal mobility, and is considered a foundation pose of yoga. This pose can be extremely helpful in improving your posture and counteracting that dreaded slouching. Don’t forget how detrimental bad posture and looking or slumping down to look at your smartphone can be. The Locust Pose also stretches and strengthens the back and core muscles, improving your spinal mobility.

How to do the Locust Pose:

  • Lie on your stomach, centering yourself on your yoga mat with your arms at your sides. Rest your forehead on the mat.
  • Inhale and raise your head to look forward.
  • Use your inner thighs to lift your legs up toward the ceiling.
  • Keep your chest lifted as you widen across your collarbones.
  • Gaze at your cheeks.
  • Hold for up to one minute.
  • Slowly release.
  • Repeat 2-3 times.

The Takeaway

If you’re finding that you’ve got neck pain or chronic pain and stiffness in your upper back muscles, these various yoga postures are a great way to find relief. They’ll also help you increase your range of motion and relieve tension and tight shoulders. One of the benefits of yoga is you can treat all types of back pain, from the shoulder area of the upper chest to lower back pain and everything in between. Utilizing these restorative yoga poses, performing common shoulder stretches, and working key muscles with a foam roller can help alleviate common problems and bring you relief.

These yoga poses can immediately release tightness and tension in the shoulder blades and remove accumulated stress on the shoulder. Remember that yoga helps release tension in general, which, in turn, eases pain all over the body. Adding these 3 foundational yoga moves to your daily routine will begin to reduce or have you well on your way to eliminating shoulder blade pain.

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Read Next: 

Could Your Sleep Position Cause Shoulder Pain?

5-Minute Yoga for Neck, Shoulders, and Back

6 Shoulder Stretches For Comfort And Mobility As You Age

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