After an upper body workout it’s easy to leave the stretching behind. But stretching regularly has been shown to improve flexibility and relieve tight muscles. These upper body stretches will also help to maintain good posture.
It’s best to stretch after a warm up or your workout. Some key things to keep in mind are:
• Move into the stretch slowly and hold for 20-30 seconds or two to three deep breaths.
• Do not force or bounce, simply stretch until you feel muscle tension.
1. Torso Stretch
• With feet shoulder-width apart, reach upward to the sky through your fingertips.
• As you reach with your right hand, allow your left heel to lift off the ground for a greater stretch.
• Feel the lengthening of your waist and hold.
• Repeat with the other side.
2. Chest, Shoulders, and Biceps Stretch
• Start standing or sitting with an elongated spine.
• Draw your arms behind your body, lacing your fingertips and pressing your palms away from you. Lift your arms up and away from your body.
• Feel the opening of your chest, the stretch of your shoulders and the lengthening of your biceps. Hold.
3. Back Stretch
• Use a prop in a fixed position like a tree, post, or railing for assistance.
• Face the prop and lace your fingers or wrap your hands around it.
• Draw back through your hips, pressing to stretch the area between your shoulder blades.
• Slowly shift your hips to the right and left to manipulate the stretch down your back.
• Bend your knees to stand back up.
4. Upper Back and Shoulder Stretch
• Start standing or sitting tall.
• Draw your straight right arm across your upper chest.
• Place your left hand on the backside of the upper right arm and draw into your body to release the muscles.
• Repeat on the left side.
5. Triceps Stretch
• Start standing or sitting with good posture.
• Lift your right arm up to the sky and bend your elbow with your fingertips touching your upper back.
• Keep your left hand on top of your right elbow and your upper arm close to your right ear.