How is your body feeling today? One of the most common complaints I hear from my clients is “my shoulders are tight” or "my neck hurts.” And if they’re not vocalizing it, I can see it in most.
Like I mentioned, this one is close to the heart. Literally.
One of the best stretches you can do to relieve neck and shoulder tension is a pec stretch. Yup, you read it right! The larger of the two pec muscles(pectoralis major if you wanna get technical) sits at the front of the upper ribcage in front of your heart.
These chunks o’ meat can wreak havoc on our shoulders and neck.
If the pecs are locked in a short position our shoulders will draw forward and our upper neck will extend. This muscle is one piece of a larger network of muscles that could cause a “forward head posture.” And we don’t want that now do we?
If your answer was a resounding “HECK NO!” Then take a moment right now and try this simple stretch:
Pec stretch using the wall:
- Stand facing a wall & get really close.
- Take your Right arm straight out to the side, placing the palm of your hand flat against the wall, about shoulder height.*
- Rotate the rest of your entire body to the left (feet, hips, ribcage and head)
- Focus your breath into the upper right ribcage area where you feel the stretch and allow the pec muscle to fan open and release**.
- Hold for 15-30 seconds, constantly thinking of the release.***
- Then return to face the wall and stretch the left side
These are great to do when you first wake up, after a spell at the computer or sewing machine, after carrying children and groceries. If you're pregnant, this one is great to do several times a day.
If you wanna go deeper:
*Play with sliding your hand slightly higher than your shoulder height or slightly lower than your shoulder height and find the angle where you get the best pull for you.
**For bonus release, energize in the stretch and imagine someone pulling your arm away from your torso, while your torso continues to rotate away from your hand on the wall.
***If you don’t feel a stretch, or if you only feel the stretch in your arm and not the pec area, try taking a slight bend of the elbow on the side you are stretching. You might be hyperextending (or overextending) your elbow.
Wanna see a pic of the pec? Do a google image search and you will find a smorgasbord of pec pics!
Take action now! Stretch your pecs and let me know how it went and how you feel afterward in the comments below.
If you know someone who would love this, please send them over to check it out. Thank you so much for reading, sharing and contributing below.