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Stretch of the Week: Standing Chest Stretch

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The third week of February brings us to a Standing Chest Stretch. It will stretch the muscles in the chest as well as along the top of the arm (mostly biceps).

For the most effective stretch, you should use a yoga strap. However, you can perform the stretch without a yoga strap if you don’t have one. If you have any shoulder injuries please skip this week’s stretch.

How to perform:

  1. Make a loop with the yoga strap so it is shoulder distance apart. Actually measure it against the front of the chest, from shoulder bone to shoulder bone. Make sure the strap is secure and won’t slip.
  1. Take the strap behind you and slip your arm through, until the strap is just above the elbow as shown in photo 1.
  1. Then, slip your other arm through until the strap is just above the elbow as shown in photo 2. You may need someone to help you with this if your chest is very tight. You can also try to loosen the strap until is easier to get on.
  1. Press your arms into the strap so that it is taut, as shown in photo 3.
  1. Bend your elbows and bring your palms to rest gently on the low back/pelvic rim area as shown photo 4.
  1. Feet should be slightly apart. Press the belly button to your spine and lift the low belly up. Draw your shoulder blades together firmly, back and down toward the tailbone. Keep your chest wide. You do not want to look like the “No” photo; slouched forward and chest collapsed. Try to remain standing straight with good posture.

Stretch of the Week: Standing Chest Stretch

*If you don’t have a strap, try to keep the elbows from winging out to the sides by having them pointed directly behind you. All muscle engagements stay the same as above.

  1. Stay here for 10 breath cycles (inhale and exhale = 1 cycle). To come out, straighten one arm and hook thumb of your other hand up into the strap to slip it off. You can also ask a friend to help you, by clasping your hands together and straightening both arms to allow the strap to slide off.

Stretch of the Week: Standing Chest Stretch

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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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