Back Stroke ‘Swimming’

Improves shoulder mobility and arm strength. Helps with everyday activities such as opening cupboards and doors.

Start with five gentle repetitions on each side.


  • Make this easier

    • Reduce the range of movement by keeping your arm below head height.
  • Make this harder

    • Increase the range of movement
    • Increase the speed.
    • Increase the number of repetitions.


Step 1

Imagine you’re brushing or combing your hair.

Step 2

Bring your hand over your head so it just brushes your hair or the top of your head.

Step 3

Gently and slowly take your arm behind your head and bring it back round, stretching it out as you do so. Keep your shoulder relaxed. Make sure you do the exercise in a controlled manner.

Please Note

If you suffer from COPD, please do not have your hands above your head for more than 3 seconds.