Stretch of the Week: Standing Cobra Door Stretch

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Continuing with our subclavius stretches for July, week 3 brings us to the Standing Cobra Door Stretch. It’s becoming a favorite of mine.

You will need a door with handles on both sides and possibly a small stepping stool for this stretch. Sturdy cork yoga blocks can work in place of a stool.

If you are currently experiencing shoulder pain or an injury to the shoulder, neck or chest, do not perform this exercise. Also, if you have difficulty balancing on a stool or block, you may want to refrain from performing that particular modification of the stretch.  Prior to beginning any exercise program, it is recommended to consult with your physician, physical or occupational therapist to determine which exercises are best for you.

Performing the Standing Cobra Door Stretch:

  1. If you are very tight across the chest and shoulder regions, use the stool or yoga block to add height. This will reduce the intensity of the stretch as you can see by the arm position in the photos. Stand a foot away from the door so that the handles are on either side of you with your back turned towards the door. Reach your hands back for the door knobs. Palms will face down.
  1. Begin by drawing your shoulder blades towards one another so the chest expands. Stand up tall and straight. Draw your belly button towards the spine and keep the shoulders, hips, and heels all in line. Refrain from collapsing forward as shown in the photo. No slouching or rounding in the shoulders. Head stays up with gaze at horizon level.
  1. Stay here for 8-10 full inhale and exhale cycles. Slowly release and step away from the door when done, then give the shoulders a few rolls.

standing cobra door stretch

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