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My goal is to improve the flexibility in arms: I want to get symmetric flexibility to the right and left. I am right-handed in writing but left-handed in most club games. The right side is becoming too strong and less flexible. I am trying to find ways to address the issue, I noticed the issue when I was doing warmup before some bench presses.

I am not sure which muscles are not relaxed: perhaps supraspinatus, infraspinatus and teres minor. After doing more and more trials, I can feel more stretch in the right joint -- perhaps I haven't just warmed up enough?

How would you improve the flexibility so that I could one day be able to do the movement touching both hands in both sides?

enter image description here enter image description here

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Are you not able to bring your left arm into a fully vertical position? It looks like your right arm gets there, but your left arm does not. – Kate Dec 10 '13 at 1:33
Keep practicing, eg. 60s daily. Identify the specific weakness (on one side the shoulder is rotated internally, on the other externally) and do specific stretches. – VPeric Dec 10 '13 at 10:34
@Kate I did not realise it needs to be like that. Getting better! Thank you for the link +1. – hhh Dec 10 '13 at 22:58

I would recommend looking at safe swimming stretches, such as the ones detailed here. I would stay away from many of the older swimming stretches and the partner assisted arm stretches, as they have been shown to increase looseness in the shoulder and are associated with a higher incidence of injuries.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The issue related to bad external rotation and bad internal rotation: a reason can be that the shoulder blades are hunched together due to reasons such as too much sitting/typing work

enter image description here

where the hunched shoulder blades (like too much sitting, too much benchpress) can impair the rotation movements and

enter image description here

where the right arm in the internal rotation could not touch as of 2014 T7 let alone T3. The pictures are from UW Medicine Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine.

By this material here, the arm overhead is close to

  • "external rotation, flexion and abduction of the right humerus in the shoulder socket" (B in the picture here)

while the arm underneath is close

  • "internal rotation, extension and abduction of the left humerus in the shoulder socket" (C in the picture here)

so the problem as of 2014 was likely in internal rotation, extension and abduction of the right humerus in the shoulder socket.

The collage picture below is of 2016 where the major rotational movements have been fixed. The summary below lists the techniques I used to improve the flexibility where the last one with rolling on the floor was the most effective, particularly with a soft ball for the shoulder cap and foam roller.

enter image description here

Summary about the techniques to improve the arm cross stretching behind the back

  • a test here (found after reading Kate's comment here) with scoring, slightly misleading: you can also rotate the arms in the humerus that is not measured by the test

  • JohnP's suggesstion about swimming streches here where the page 24 awesome (parcticularly the picture 2 with external rotation)

  • rolling on the floor, relaxing, putting arm behind the back and softly testing different directions is an effective and safe way to improve the shoulder blades flexibility and the rotational movements

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+1 Great answer. Can also, you expand on the frequency and time windows it took you to achieve this results? – RMalke Apr 19 at 15:30
@RMalke thank you for the question: rather than focusing on time, focus on technique such as proper breathing and balance. Any muscle around the shoulder scuff can block this movement. Similarly bad technique such as wrong outhaling and stretching can create more damage than improvement. After I learnt the technique such as breathing and balancing training better, my technique and flexibility improved a lot. Finding a good mentor or motivator who is able show what is realistic and what is not is also very important. Hopefully the tips help. – hhh Apr 19 at 21:26

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