The 5 Best Upper-Body Stretches You Should Be Doing After Arm Workouts

If your upper-body workout involves lifting weights, make sure you stretch your forearms.
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You can probably think of several lower-body stretches off the top of your head: standing quad stretch, seated hamstring stretch, figure four stretch, runner's lunge, etc. But stretching your upper-body muscles after an arm workout leaves many of us stumped.

But your chest, shoulders, arms and upper back deserves just as much TLC as your legs, especially after a grueling workout. New York-based certified personal trainer Mathew Forzaglia, CPT, wants you to make these five stretches your go-to post-arm-workout routine.

1. Scorpion Stretch

1. Scorpion Stretch
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Mathew Forzaglia
Skill Level All Levels
Activity Stretching
Body Part [ "Chest", "Shoulders", "Arms" ]
  1. Begin lying flat on the floor with your hip bones pressed against the ground, arms out to your sides in a T.
  2. Press your left palm into the ground, keeping your right arm stretched out.
  3. Keeping your right hip and leg rooted, bring your left leg off the ground, placing your left foot behind your body.
  4. Using your left palm for leverage, begin to open your chest up to the left until you feel a stretch along the right upper body.
  5. Hold here for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.

2. Couch Shoulder Stretch

2. Couch Shoulder Stretch
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Mathew Forzaglia
Skill Level All Levels
Activity Stretching
Body Part [ "Back", "Shoulders", "Arms" ]
  1. Begin on all fours in front of a couch or chair.
  2. Bring your elbows up onto the seat, clasping your hands behind your back.
  3. Keeping your eyes on the ground, press your chest toward the floor until you feel a stretch along your upper back, triceps and shoulders.
  4. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.

3. Wrist Stretch

3. Wrist Stretch
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Mathew Forzaglia
Skill Level All Levels
Activity Stretching
Body Part Arms
  1. Begin on all fours, knees under hips and palms under shoulders.
  2. Keeping your weight in your knees, flip your wrists until your fingers face your body.
  3. Gently shift weight onto your hands, feeling a stretch along your inner wrist.
  4. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.

Tip

If you don't often stretch your wrists, ease into this move, as it can be taxing on these joints.

4. Thread the Needle

4. Thread the Needle
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Mathew Forzaglia
Skill Level All Levels
Activity Stretching
Body Part [ "Back", "Shoulders" ]
  1. Start on all fours in tabletop position, knees stacked below hips and hands stacked below shoulders.
  2. “Thread” your left arm underneath your right shoulder. Bring your left arm as far through as you can without feeling discomfort or pain.
  3. Once you reach the end of your range of motion, rest your left cheek and the back of your left shoulder on the ground.
  4. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds before repeating on the other side.

Tip

If this stretch feels too intense, place the palm of your non-threading arm on the floor and lift your head off the ground.

5. Biceps, Chest and Neck Stretch

5. Biceps, Chest and Neck Stretch
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com/Mathew Forzaglia
Skill Level All Levels
Activity Stretching
Body Part [ "Arms", "Chest" ]
  1. Stand against a wall with your right arm stretched out into a T, palm on the wall.
  2. Keeping the palm rooted, slowly open your chest to the left side and turn your head to your left shoulder.
  3. At the same time, begin to step slowly away from the wall until you feel a stretch along your right biceps, chest and neck.
  4. Hold here for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.