Stretch of the Week: Forward Fold and Chest Opener

by allylofgren | Leave a Comment

The final stretch in our mini sequence of chair stretching is a forward fold AND a chest opener. I love two for ones! 🙂

The only contraindication for this stretch would be if you have a shoulder injury. I will give you a modification for the shoulder opening part or just don’t perform that part of the stretch.

You will need a chair for this stretch. If it’s a rolling chair please make sure the wheels are locked or you will fall off the chair.

How to:

  1. Place the back of the chair against a wall or sturdy piece of furniture such as a desk. Sit at the edge of the chair. Straighten the legs out in front of you. Bring the legs together and squeeze the inner thighs.
  1. Interlace the fingers behind your back. Squeeze the shoulder blades together to open the chest (you should feel a stretch across the chest). Begin to straighten the arms behind you, while you squeeze the shoulder blades together.

Modification: if this movement is difficult to achieve then use a strap to grab onto between the hands. Or just hold on to opposite elbows with your hands as you squeeze the shoulder blades together.

  1. On the exhale begin to fold over the straight legs. Point the toes to the floor so the soles of the feet touch the floor. Keep straightening and lifting the arms up behind you as shown in the top photo marked yes. Refrain from rounding the back and rounding the shoulders forward (collapsing the chest).  Keep the legs squeezing together and straight. You won’t get much out of the stretch if you look like the bottom photo marked no.
  1. And that’s it! Stay here for 3-5 breaths. You can repeat often, as this stretch really counters the position of sitting all day.

I hope you enjoyed the chair yoga this month! Join me for next month!

foward fold

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