To help avoid neck and shoulder pain, you should be able to perform a wall angel. This especially goes for lifting weights, swimming, painting, reaching overhead, etc.
Not only are strong shoulders important but proper shoulder, upper back, and neck range of motion (ROM) is key.
Look no further than the Wall Angel to test (and as an exercise):
Lay up against a wall with your feel about 6 inches away and knees slightly bent. Your butt, back and head should all be able to touch. Next, place your elbows up to 90 degrees with your forearms and hands touching the wall. This is no easy feat folks. You can see even when I do it, my wrist comes off of the wall and I cheat by bending my hand back to touch the wall.
There are MANY ways to compensate and cheat. Here are the more common ones.
If you are able to have good form, like the top pic, the exercise is to just bring your elbows down and back up, like a snow angel! Perform 3 sets of 10 with each rep taking 3-5 seconds. This will help strengthen muscles in your back and shoulders and assist with good posture.
You shouldn't have to strain too much to get into this position. If you are, then there is probably some limitation in your neck, back, and/or shoulders that is preventing you from getting there. We can certainly help!
If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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