Stretch of the Week: Beach Ball Hug & Expansion Dynamic Stretch

by Rachel Lackowski | Leave a Comment

February is here! Since Valentine’s Day is around the corner, this month’s theme will be chest stretches – also known as “Heart Openers.”

For the first week we will learn the seated Beach Ball Hug and Expansion Dynamic Stretch. If you have difficulty getting up and down from the floor, you can perform the stretch while sitting in a chair. Please do not perform this stretch if you have a shoulder injury.

How to perform:

  1. Take a seat on the floor with crossed ankles (or sit on the edge of a sturdy chair, with your ankles directly under your knees). Sit tall by bringing your belly button to your spine and reaching the crown of your head to the ceiling.
  1. Lift your arms and expand them out to your sides in a cactus position. Inhale and draw the shoulder blades toward each other and also down toward the floor. Keep your elbows bent and aimed toward the low ribs, as shown in top photo marked “inhale.” You will feel a chest stretch here. Keep your gaze slightly up and your belly button pressed toward your spine to protect the low back.
  1. As you exhale, bring the fingertips to touch like your wrapping your arms around a big beach ball (with a slight bend in the elbows). Press your heart back behind you, rounding in the upper back with your gaze down – as shown in the bottom photo marked “exhale.” Again keep your belly button pressed to your spine.
  1. Perform this stretch 5-10 times, with long and smooth inhales and exhales. Try not to clench your jaw, as you should be relaxed during this movement.

This is a great stretch to do right after you wake up! Enjoy!

Beach-Ball-Hug-Expansion-Dynamic-Stretch

Interested in learning more? Email me at rachel.lackowski@athletico.com

The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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