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Stretch of the Week: Self Massage Technique for the Subclavius Muscle

by Athletico2 Comments

For the last week of July we will discuss a self massage technique for the subclavius muscle. As a licensed massage therapist I always advise learning self-care techniques to perform between appointments with your own massage therapist. If you don’t have a licensed massage therapist as a resource, it is important to take the time to find a reputable one. We are an invaluable resource to getting your body healthy. It is not just a luxury!

For this self-massage technique, you will need a tennis ball and possibly a yoga block or something of similar size and sturdiness. You may also need some wall space.

If you are currently experiencing shoulder pain or an injury or pain around the collarbone, please refrain from performing this 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 self-massage technique:

Option 1: (laying on the floor)

This option requires you to be able to get on the floor face down. If that is not something you are easily able to do please skip to Option 2.

Place the yoga block on the floor on the lowest height. Lay face down with the block under your right collarbone. Support yourself with your hands and arms as shown in the photo. Your right arm is supported through the fingertips of your hand. Place the tennis ball between yourself and the block, just below the collarbone. Your subclavius muscle is located just below the collarbone and this is the area you’re aiming for. (Refer to July’s week 1 blog for a diagram of the location.) Gently lean the body onto the tennis ball. You can control how much pressure is applied by how much weight you press into the ball. From here shift yourself back and forth along the ball to massage the muscle under the collarbone.

stretch-of-the-week-4-july-massage-subclaviusOption 2: (standing)

With option 2, you will need available wall space. To begin, stand facing the wall. Place the tennis ball between yourself and the wall, just under the collarbone. While holding the ball with your left hand, extend the left arm out to the side, “spidering” the fingers, and begin to gently lean into the ball with your body weight. As above, gently shift back and forth to massage the area below the collarbone.

stretch-of-the-week-4-july-massage-subclavius-2In both options keep the massage to under 15 minutes, to reduce potential muscle soreness from occurring. Make sure to perform on both sides!

Questions? Email me at

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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  1. Rachel Lackowski

    Please go to your doctor and find out specifically why you are having the pain. They can then guide you in any restrictions you may need. Thank you for checking out the weekly stretch!

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