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 side.
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 bent.