Starting Position: Lie supine (on your back) on an exercise mat or firm surface, bending your knees until your feet are positioned flat on the floor 12-18″ from your buttocks. Place your arms at your sides, with elbows fully extended and palms facing inward. Breathe deeply for a 30 seconds relaxing your body and allowing gravity to gently pull your lower back and shoulders towards the floor.
Depress and retract your scapulae (pull your shoulder down and back) without increasing the arch in your low back or lifting your hips off the mat / floor. Contract your abdominal / core muscles to flatten your low back into the mat and hold this position throughout the exercise.
Slide your arms out from your sides forming a 45-degree angle with your torso, keeping your upper arms making contact with the mat / floor. Bend your elbows to a comfortable position and keep your wrists in a neutral position (aligning the backs of your forearms, wrists and hands).
Upward Movement: Exhale and gently rotate your upper arms, sliding the mat / floor to an end position where your hands touch overhead and your elbows have a comfortable bend. Attempt to keep much of the back of your upper arms, forearms, wrists and hands in contact with, or near the mat/ floor and avoid arching your lower back as your rotate overhead.
Downward Movement: Inhale and gently rotate your arms back to your starting position, attempting to keep your upper arms, forearms, wrists and hands in contact with, or near the mat/ floor and avoid arching your lower back as your rotate overhead.
This exercise stretches the muscles of your shoulders and lats in a stable and isolated manner. Reducing movement restriction in the shoulder helps minimize the likelihood of shoulder injury and pain. Try performing this exercise adjacent to a mirror that will allow you to monitor any undesired movement in the hips, ribs, shoulder or low-back.