Stretch Series: Chest
Your pecs are a significant upper body strength area. They are also intensively used muscles in your body. They are capable of massive strength movements and will possibly be some of the strongest muscles in your body. Make sure you’re keeping them healthy and in great shape by stretching them out regularly to keep good blood flow and improve your mobility so that you keep them safe in everyday life, and in training.
Behind the back
The first stretch on our list is the behind the back stretch. This is a great way to flex out your chest and get a really fulfilling stretch, without needing too much flexibility.
To do it, you need to put your arms out behind you and clasp your hands together. Once you’re there, squeeze together your shoulder blades to pull back your arms, and this should really help you stretch out your lower and your upper pectoral muscles at the same time.
The wall push is a kind of reverse pec fly move that you just need to be in a corner to do. Convenient as well as practical, what more could you ask for? It’s a great way to stretch out the whole pectoral muscles, getting you primed for exercises that use similar motions.
To do the wall push, you need to keep your arms at a kind of right angle and flat on either side of the wall. This is why you need to be in a corner - so that you have two walls within a good reaching distance. While keeping pushing forward with your arms to prevent you from falling forwards, let your chest get closer and closer to the corner to get an almost contraction while stretching out the muscles naturally.
The single, or door fly is very similar to the wall push but with some variation to make sure that you are as flexible as you can be. Instead of the wall push movement, you need to be standing in an open doorway so that you can move past your arm.
Push against the door frame and gradually move through it to keep yourself secure. This will open up your chest and allow you to go as far as you need to without the limitations of the corner as we saw in the stretch above. You can use both arms at the same time, but either way works well as long as you are safe.
Lying Pectoral stretch
This is a stretch that again follows a similar kind of positioning, but it will actually help you build your strength and balance the more you do it, too. The risk of you falling or losing balance is reduced by the fact that you are lying down. This brings in a new angle from which you can work on your pecs.
As you lay on your front in a wide stance push up position, gradually push from one arm and relax the other so that you are lowering your weight onto one side. Hold it for as long as you need. The more time, the better, but within reason. After, return to the centre. Do the same with the other side and maybe repeat these 3 to 4 times for the most effectiveness.
These four stretches should be enough to give your muscles the wake-up call they need and to keep them in good shape. You can do them daily as part of your morning or evening routine if you like, as well as using them pre or post workout to keep your muscles in a good state for the optimum recovery. Just make sure you do something with them!
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.