6 Simple Chest Stretches You Can Do Every Morning to Loosen Your Upper Body

Many people with muscular chests experience tightness in the pectoral muscles.
Image Credit: DragonImages/iStock/GettyImages

Whether you're sore after a tough upper-body workout or stiff from a full day at your work desk, some chest muscle tightness is totally normal — but that doesn't mean you have to spend your day feeling achy.

Instead, run through these six quick chest stretches that also help loosen up the rest of your upper-body muscles.

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1. Wall Stretch

1. Wall Stretch
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Samuel Chan
Time 20 Sec
Activity Stretching
Region Upper Body
  1. Stand against the outer corner of a room or in a doorway. Bend your right elbow at a 90-degree angle so your upper arm is parallel to the floor at shoulder height.
  2. Place your right forearm against the corner of the wall with your left side open to the room.
  3. Gently press into your right forearm as you lean your left side into the open space of the doorway or room to feel a stretch in your right pectoral muscle.
  4. Hold 15 to 20 seconds and repeat on the other side.

2. Elbow Wrap Stretch

2. Elbow Wrap Stretch
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Samuel Chan
Time 30 Sec
Activity Stretching
Region Upper Body
  1. Sit cross-legged on the floor or stand with both feet firmly planted shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bring your arms behind your back and clasp each hand around the opposite elbow or forearm (wherever your mobility allows).
  3. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Focus on lifting your collarbones and squeezing your shoulder blades down and toward each other.

3. Back Bend Stretch

3. Back Bend Stretch
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Samuel Chan
Time 30 Sec
Activity Stretching
Region Upper Body
  1. Sit or stand and bring your hands to the back of your head. Point your elbows out to the sides of the room.
  2. Allow your head to fall back into your hands as you open your chest and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  3. Inhale and exhale deeply as you hold, pressing your chest upward.

Tip

If you have a stiff lower back, ease into this pec stretch and only go as far as is comfortable.

4. Lying Chest Stretch

4. Lying Chest Stretch
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Samuel Chan
Time 20 Sec
Activity Stretching
Region Upper Body
  1. Lie on your stomach on a workout mat. Reach your arms to the sides of the room to create a T shape with your body.
  2. Bring your left hand to your left hip as you slowly begin to roll to the right — leaving your right arm extended on the floor.
  3. Pause when you feel the stretch in the right pectoral muscle and hold for 20 seconds.
  4. Repeat on the left side.

Tip

This chest stretch can be quite intense, especially if your chest is extremely tight. Move into it slowly and stop when you feel a stretching sensation — never work a stretch to the point of pain.

5. Standing Chest Expansion

5. Standing Chest Expansion
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Samuel Chan
Time 30 Sec
Activity Stretching
Region Upper Body
  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and soften your knees.
  2. Interweave your fingers together behind your tailbone.
  3. Press your knuckles toward the floor as you open your chest out and up.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds.

Tip

The further you draw your clasped hands away from your tailbone, the greater the intensity of this pec stretch.

6. Stability Ball Chest Stretch

6. Stability Ball Chest Stretch
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Samuel Chan
Time 30 Sec
Activity Stretching
Region Core and Upper Body
  1. Lie with your back supported by a stability ball. Plant your feet firmly in the ground, hip-width apart.
  2. Open your arms to the sides of the room and let them hang so you feel a stretch in your chest muscles.
  3. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.

Tip

If you don't have a stability ball handy, you can use the edge of a couch or the seat of a chair.

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