Here Are 4 Simple Exercises To Open Up Your Chest

Many of us are unaware of how often we use our arms and chest to perform everyday tasks such as driving, working at a desk, carrying boxes, etc. But as it turns out, a large percentage of what we do in life is directly in front of us, making it very common for our muscles in the front of our bodies to become hypertonic or shortened which, in turn, limits the chest, shoulder and arm flexibility.

Why Do We Need to Stretch Our Chests?

The pectoral muscles, anterior deltoid, and biceps are all located in the front of our body, and when pectoral muscles get tight they can contribute to a postural deviation known as forward rounded shoulders, which limits the range of motion in the shoulder joint.

To help remedy this problem, we have listed a variety of chest stretches below that can increase the flexibility of the chest muscles and connective tissue, which will improve your range of motion in the shoulders, improve your upper body posture, and will help relieve painful movement patterns.

The below stretches will help you open up the front of your body and improve your posture, and the stretches are simple enough that they can be done at any time, anywhere. Once you start practicing these exercises regularly, you will start to feel and see improvements in your chest and shoulder range of motion and flexibility, and in your all-over posture.

Remember to always consult a physician or physical therapist before beginning a new exercise regime if you have any health concerns.

4 Simple Exercises To Open Up Your Chest

Standing Blackburn Y

This is a great stretch to help open up your chest and activate your back muscles, while also helping your shoulders, back, and chest, and posture. It will also activate your brain and give you more energy, making it an ideal stretch to do in the morning before starting your day.

How To:

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart with your arms extended to sides at 10 and 2 o’clock positions.
  2. Have hands oriented with palms facing up.
  3. While maintaining a good posture, draw your arms and shoulders back while squeezing your shoulder blades together.
  4. Keep your elbows straight.
  5. A stretch may be felt in the chest and the front of the shoulders.
  6. Do not let your shoulders rise upwards.
  7. Keep neck muscles relaxed.
  8. Hold for 5 seconds.

Standing Blackburn T

Similar to the standing Blackburn Y, this simple stretch helps to improve posture and will open up the chest muscles with a nice, deep stretch that can be done from anywhere.

How To:

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart,  arms should be extended to sides at shoulder level.
  2. Keep palms facing up.
  3. While maintaining good posture, draw arms and shoulders back by squeezing shoulder blades together.
  4. Elbows should stay straight.
  5. A stretch may be felt in the chest and the front of the shoulder.
  6. Don’t let your shoulders raise upwards.
  7. Relax neck muscles.
  8. Hold for 5 seconds.

Chest Opener

This is a great exercise to open and stretch your chest, especially if you spend a lot of your day sitting, which is the sad reality for a lot of us right now! The chest opener can help straighten your chest and improve your posture when practiced regularly.

How To:

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bring arms behind you and interlace your fingers with your palms pressed together – grasp a towel if your hands can’t reach one another.
  3. Keep a straight neck, head, and spine and you look forward.
  4. Inhale as you lift your chest towards the ceiling and bring your hands towards the floor.
  5. Hold for 5 breaths.

Elbow Stretch

This is an excellent stretch for posture, neck, back, and shoulders! And it’s probably the easiest out of all the other stretches we’ve looked at!

How To:

  1. Stand tall with legs hip-width apart.
  2. Interlace your fingers behind your head with your elbows pointing out to the sides.
  3. Slowly squeeze your shoulder blades back while pushing your elbows out and back with your chest pushed forward.
  4. Hold for 20-30 seconds.