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Exercises to Strengthen Chest Muscles to Alleviate Pain

author image Linda Ray
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."
Exercises to Strengthen Chest Muscles to Alleviate Pain
Stretching exercises can alleviate chest pain. Photo Credit stretching image by Steve Lovegrove from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

All chest pain requires a diagnosis from a physician to eliminate serious conditions such as a heart attack. Before starting any strengthening exercise to relieve chest pain, see a doctor. The cause of the pain can range anywhere from angina to aortic dissection or any other number of heart ailments. At the same time, according to the Mayo Clinic, chest pain can be the result of a muscle strain, respiratory distress, digestive problems, a pinched nerve or a panic attack. There are chest exercises you can do to alleviate further pain when it's related to muscle weakness once your doctor has cleared you.

Water Aerobics

Chest pain worsens when you clench up. According to Fibromyalgia Symptoms, lying still when chest pain occurs often worsens the pain instead of relieving it. Water aerobics are low impact and the water provides enough resistance to build muscle strength while also protecting sore areas. Water aerobics are low impact exercises that won't add jarring movements to an already painful chest area. You don’t even have to know how to swim because water aerobics can be performed in the shallow end of the pool.


Stretching exercises can help to alleviate chest pain. Tight, weak pectoral muscles are a common cause of chest pain, report doctors at the Pain Clinic. Daily stretching can help to cut down on pain medications and relieve much of the suffering associated with the pain.

To stretch the major pectoral muscles, stretch one arm at a time by lowering your hand at your side with your palm facing forward. Slowly lift the arm until it is parallel with your head. Lower and repeat 10 times and then stretch the other side. Give your sternum area more of a stretch by turning your palms toward your body as you extend them down. With hands turned inward, reach back as far as you can, keeping your elbows slightly bent. Hold for a count of 10 and slowly return to the side of your body. Repeat 10 times.

Stability Ball Exercises

Using a stability ball to perform chest-strengthening exercises relieves the pressure of lying on the floor and actually increases the intensity of the exercise because you have to engage other core muscles to maintain your balance. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, you can lie backwards over the ball to give your chest muscles a good stretch. Perform crunches on the ball and balance your back on the stability ball while lifting free weights. Doing your exercise routines on a stability ball can be helpful for rehabilitation following a chest muscle strain, to build endurance and strength as well as to enhance all functional daily activities.

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