Whether you exercise frequently or sit at your work desk for hours, chest stretches must be in your daily routine. They not only loosen up the tight muscles but also alleviate any pain or stiffness in the upper body area.
Below are some of the best stretches for your chest that you can start from today onwards. Read on:
Chest Stretches to Relieve You Tight Chest Muscles
1. Corner Chest Stretch
Also known as corner pec stretch, this is among the expert-recommended and the best chest stretches you should deficiently try. It stretches your chest muscles while repairing the sore muscles and helping a faster recovery from pain.
Let us learn how to do this:
- Face any corner of a room. Keep your feet together but at least 2 feet away from the corner.
- Now, place the forearms on both walls with elbows slightly below shoulder height
- Lean forward until you feel a good stretch across the chest and shoulders.
- Hold on for 30 to 60 seconds.
- If you feel any pain, you can either reduce the stretch or stop it altogether.
2. Floor Angels
Touted as one of the most effective chest workout stretches, floor angels are great for loosening the pectoral muscle fibers. It also improves body posture and reduces rounding of the shoulders. Just like other chest stretches, one can do it at home. However, you may need yoga or an exercise mat as it is practiced while lying on the ground.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to perform floor angels:
- First, lie on your back and completely relax your body. Keep your feet at a hip-wide distance, and your hands should be on the floor above your head with a 90-degree angle and palms facing up.
- Keeping your body intact on the floor, slowly raise your arms upwards, in a parallel direction to the floor, until stretched completely.
- Do not hold the stretch and slowly bring the arms down to the 90-degree position.
- Repeat this stretch for at least 30 seconds or as long as you feel good.
3. Above The Head
Probably, one of the simplest chest stretches, "above the head" targets the large three muscles – Pectorals, Posterior Deltoids, Serratus Anterio – in your chest. Experts and physiotherapists often recommend it.
Here is how to do this stretch:
- Stand straight with your feet at least hip-width apart.
- Take a deep breath and put your hands behind your head by bending the elbows. Interlock your fingers behind the head.
- Now, gently squeeze your shoulders and try to push your neck and hands backward.
- Hold this stretch for at least 30 seconds and then release.
4. Chest Opener
The name itself is enough to show that this is a specific stretch for your chest. You can add it to your stretches before a chest workout or the chest stretches after a workout. It depends on your workout plan. However, make sure you do not overstretch your chest, as it can lead to straining or even injury.
Here is how you can try these chest stretches with safety:
- Stand straight with a hip-wide distance between your legs.
- Straight your arms sideways and then bring them in front so that your shoulders and arms make a line. Your palms should face each other.
- Inhale, and stretch your arms sideways until they are behind your body without bending the elbow while squeezing your shoulder blades, drawing your chest outwards.
- You will feel your chest muscles stretching. Hold this pose for 3-5 seconds.
- Slowly return your arms in front of you with palms facing each other.
- Repeat this opening gesture at least 5 times.
5. Bow Pose
Some of the tight chest stretches that work wonderfully also come from the ancient yoga poses. One such chest stretch is the bow pose. Also known as Dhanurasana, this is a backbend that stretches your chest, hip flexors, arms, hamstrings, and shoulders too. If you have to work on a computer for long hours, you should definitely try this stretch.
Here is how you can do it.
- Spread a yoga mat and lie on your belly. Press the toes into the flow and slowly bend your knees.
- As you lift the legs, reach out and grab the outer edges of your ankles with your hands and flex your feet firmly.
- Take a deep breath and lift your rib cage and shoulders. And as you exhale, lengthen your tailbone and kick your legs back into your hands as you hold on firmly.
- Now, lift your head and chest with your gaze forward. Keep stretching but make sure you do not overbend.
- Stay in this pose for 5 breaths and slowly release the position.
Tip: If you are a beginner at yoga, it is best to learn the chest stretches from a yoga expert. You can also take online classes or watch yoga videos to learn these poses correctly.
Apart from the chest stretches mentioned above, you can also try the following:
- Doorway Pectoral Stretch: For this, you have to stand in the doorway and then put your arms on each side to stretch your chest. Do the exercise anytime, anywhere.
- Wall Angels: This chest stretch is quite similar to the Floor Angels. All you need to do is, use a wall and do it while standing. It is good for those who don’t want to lie down and stretch.
- Kneeling Chest Stretch: It is another amazing stretch that can stretch your thighs and neck. To do this stretch, you need to kneel on the floor and then bend your body backward while supporting it with your arms on the floor. It is a great pre and post-workout stretch.
Now that you have read it all, it is time to try these chest stretches. And since they are easy and do not need any special equipment, these stretches can be done at home or even at the office. Just take a few minutes off your busy routine and give your chest the much-needed stretch.
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