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How to Stretch Your Upper Body Properly

Today, I am going to show you how to stretch your upper body properly to minimize injury to your tendons, ligaments and joints. Stretching is a great way to help improve flexibility and mobility but stretching in a poor postural position will put your soft tissues and joints at risk. The technique that I am going to show you will allow you to open up your shoulder and chest structures allowing your tendons to move freely without fraying or friction. 

Your will get a lot more benefit from stretching in the correct postural position while minimizing damage to your joints. Without a doubt, the most important part of stretching is making sure your body is in the correct postural position. Get your body set up properly, I have a quick exercise that will help ensure your upper torso stays in line with your back and hips thereby increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of any upper body stretch you perform.

Step 1: 

Stand with your back to a wall. With your feet flat on the floor (at shoulder width apart), touch the backs of your heels to the wall. Keep your butt and back against the wall.

Step 2:

 Stand up straight as you can and retract your shoulders so that the backs of your shoulders are flush with the wall. Keep your head level and look straight ahead. Pull your chest out and proud.

Step 3:

Bend your arms at the elbow until they are at a 90 degree angle. Move your elbows back until they are also touching the wall.

Step 4: 

Using your back muscles, pull your shoulders down and into the wall. You should feel a stretch in your chest. 

Step 5:

Count to between 10 and 20 until your feel your shoulders being “pulled” into the wall.

How to set up your shoulder girdle properly for an upper body stretch

Step 6:

Once you finished counting, step away from the wall while keeping your shoulders in a retracted position. Pretend that the wall is still flush against your shoulder and keep the backs of your shoulders flush. Walk around for a few seconds the get used to that feeling. 

Repeat steps 1 to 6 on more time

Once your shoulders are in the correct postural position, you can start performing your upper body stretch. Remember, it is very important that you keep your shoulders in this position, even while stretching. This will keep your shoulder structures open allowing your tendons to glide between the AC joint. 

It’s going to take a little while to get used to this exercise but trust me, it works. It will help correct your posture and really set your shoulder girdle up so that it is in alignment with your back and hips (very important). Do this quick exercise before your stretches and even get into the habit of doing this before your workouts. 

Here’s a quick video on how stretch your upper body properly.

Over his 30 plus years of experience, Blake Bissaillion has worked with nationally ranked body builders, power lifters and fitness professionals. In this time he has picked up volumes of applied knowledge that he openly shares with his clients. Mr. Bissaillion’s objective is to help as many beginners to weight training and fitness to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals while getting into their best possible shape. Mr. Bissaillion owns and operates Belly Be Gone, a fitness company that offers fitness and nutritional guidance and products.

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