Stretches For Your Upper Body

August 10, 2008 · Print This Article

Flexibility training is part of any good fitness program.

These are some common stretches for your upper body.

Light general stretching can be performed after your warm up before your resistance training.

Corrective stretching for postural deviations and muscle imbalances should be performed before loading your muscles to ensure proper movement patterns.

Intense stretching should be done at the end of your work out.

Here are some of the benefits you’ll get from flexibility training.

  1. Better Posture
  2. Improved Muscle Balance
  3. Reduced Muscle Soreness
  4. Increased Physical Performance/Capacity/Muscle Coordination
  5. Improved physical well being
  6. Decreased risk of injury
  7. Increased Blood Flow/Nutrient Delivery
  8. It Feels Good!

Exercise Description:
Neck (downward)
Classification:
Flexibility (Neck)
Instructions:
Tuck your chin down towards your chest and allow the back of your neck to stretch. Hold for the prescribed number of seconds.

Exercise Description:
Trapezius Stretch
Classification:
Flexibility (Neck)
Instructions:
1. Grasp the side of your head with one hand.
2. Slowly pull your ear down towards your shoulder until a comfortable stretch is felt on the side of your neck.
3. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat as prescribed. Repeat to the other side.

Exercise Description:
Neck Rotation
Classification:
Flexibility (Neck)
Instructions:
1. Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and standing tall.
2. Keeping your chin level rotate your neck to the side until full range of motion is met.
3. Return to the starting position and repeat to the othe side. Repeat for the desired repetitions.

Exercise Description:
Chest Stretch with bent arm
Classification:
Flexibility (Chest)
Instructions:
1. Place arm on a wall or any vertical object and bend elbow to 90 degrees.
2. Lean forward with your body and turn slightly away from your arm until a comfortable stretch is felt in your chest.
3. Hold for the prescribed time and then repeat with the other side.

Exercise Description:
Chest
Classification:
Flexibility
Instructions:
Stand in an upright position and reach back with your arms extended and clasp your hands together.
Raise your hands towards the ceiling keeping your arms straight until you feel a stretch in your chest.

Exercise Description:
Back (fixed bar)
Classification:
Flexibility (Shoulders/Back)
Instructions:
Grab onto a bar with one hand and lean back with your hips to allow your back to stretch. Hold for the recommended number of seconds and then repeat with the other arm.

Exercise Description:
Back (fixed bar)
Classification:
Flexibility (Shoulders/Back)
Instructions:
Grab onto a bar with one hand and lean back with your hips to allow your back to stretch. Hold for the recommended number of seconds and then repeat with the other arm.

Exercise Description:
Tricep Stretch
Classification:
Flexibility (Triceps)
Instructions:
1. Stand or sit in upright position
2. Place hand of arm to be stretched at base of neck.
3. Grasp elbow with opposite hand and pull until a stretch is felt in tricep (in back of arm)
4. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat as prescribed.

Exercise Description:
Posterior Capsule Rear Delt Stretch
Classification:
Flexibility
Instructions:
1. Sit or Stand in upright position.
2. Pull elbow with opposite hand until a stretch is felt in rear of shoulder.
3. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat as prescribed.
4. While pulling elbow, be sure that forearm remains perpendicular to floor (fingers pointing up).

Exercise Description:
Shoulder Twists
Classification:
Flexibility
Instructions:
1. Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and standing tall.
2. Holding your arms up at shoulder height twist your shoulders and trunk until full range of motion is met.

3. Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired repetitions alternating back and forth.

Exercise Description:
Chest Stretch
Classification:
Flexibility (Chest)
Instructions:
1. Stand with arms abducted 90° from side of body. Bend elbows 90°.
2. Place your hands behind your head and pull your elbows back until a comfortable stretch is felt in the chest.
3. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat as prescribed.
4. Remember to keep the low back straight – do not hyperextend.

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