Upper Body Stretches

Biceps Floss Stretch

Posted by on Sep 5, 2013 in Upper Body Stretches | Comments Off on Biceps Floss Stretch

This stretch targets the biceps muscles of the upper arm that bend the elbow and flex the arm forward at the shoulder joint.  These strong muscles run alongside  nerves that stem from the neck and run into the arm, and when tight or swollen, they can restrict the nerves and cause pain, weakness, or pins and needles.   The biceps also play a strong role in posture; short biceps roll the shoulders forward and down, increasing strain on the triceps and upper back muscles. Stand with one arm against a wall, extending it back behind you at shoulder height, fingers spread wide.  Maintaining contact with the your hand and the wall, turn your body away until a gentle stretch is felt along the upper arm or inside surface of the elbow.  Slowly side-bend your neck away from the side you’re stretching to increase the stretch further.  Hold for 30 seconds, then slowly relax your neck back to neutral and release your arm. Repeat on the opposite...

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Banded Tricep & Shoulder Stretch

Posted by on Aug 27, 2013 in Stretching 101, Upper Body Stretches | Comments Off on Banded Tricep & Shoulder Stretch

This is an advanced mobility technique that uses an exercise band to increase the intensity of the triceps stretch, and helps release restrictions in the shoulder capsule – a collection of fibrous ligaments, tendons and connective tissues that form the shoulder joint.  This stretch is excellent to increase or regain range of motion following a shoulder injury, and can help combat the internal (forward) rotation of the shoulders that often accompanies a rounded upper back (hyperkyphotic) posture. To stretch the right side: attach one end of a heavyweight exercise band to the door knob of a closed door.  Take the other end in your right hand, wrapping the band around your hand/wrist as need to avoid slipping and increase the resistance.  Turn your body 180′ COUNTER-clockwise, fully bending your elbow so that it points toward the ceiling.  Your wrist should be behind your right ear and your back  facing the door, as if you were dragging it behind you.    To increase the stretch, take a lunge step forward, allowing the band to pull your arm back a little bit.  Keep your elbow pointed straight to the ceiling and tucked as close to your head as possible. To increase the stretch in the shoulder capsule, gently turn your palm up toward the ceiling.  Hold for 1 minute before releasing. To stretch the left side: Wrap the free end of the band around your left hand/wrist, turn your body 180′  CLOCKWISE and repeat as...

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Forearm Flexor Stretch

Posted by on May 22, 2013 in Stretching 101, Upper Body Stretches | Comments Off on Forearm Flexor Stretch

If you spend long hours at a computer, this stretch is for you! The muscles in the forearm cross the wrist via the carpal tunnel; when tight, they can cause pain in the wrist and hand.  Stretch them by holding your arm out in front of you, palm facing up.  Keeping your elbow straight, bend your wrist back so that your fingers point toward the floor.  Use your other hand to increase the stretch by pulling back on your palm.  Hold the stretch for at 30 seconds or until a release is felt, then repeat on the other side.

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Nose-to-Armpit Levator Stretch

Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Stretching 101, Upper Body Stretches | 0 comments

This stretch targets the muscle that shrugs your shoulders, the Levator Scapulae.  It attaches to the top of your shoulder-blade, and to the sides of the uppermost bones of the neck.  To stretch, first side-bend your head away from the side you want to stretch, and hold for a couple of breaths.  Secure the arm on the stretching side behind your back to keep your shoulder down.  Next, gently rotate and nod your head so that your nose is pointing into your armpit.  Increase the stretch if desired by gently pulling your head farther into the stretch with your opposite hand.  Hold for 30 seconds or until a release is...

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Through-the-Doorway Pectoral Stretch

Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Stretching 101, Upper Body Stretches | Comments Off on Through-the-Doorway Pectoral Stretch

The pectorals are the largest chest muscles, and they tend to be tight on almost everyone, especially if you spend long hours at a computer.  This stretch can give you relief from upper back & neck pain, which are often sore due to the opposing pull of the pecs.  Simply position yourself in an open doorway, with your elbows bent to 90′ and at shoulder height, so that your forearms are resting along the frame with hands pointed toward the ceiling.  You can choose to stretch both sides at once, or relax one arm at a time .  Step ahead and lean through the door, keeping your arms in place, until you feel a comfortable stretch across the chest.  Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds or until a release is felt. To enhance the stretch by targeting the slightly different fibre directions of the large pectoral muscles, repeat the stretch with your hands 1) lower, just above shoulder height on the door frame and 2) above your head on the door frame, high enough that your elbows are only slightly...

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