Chest stretches for tight shoulders

If you’re in the tight pecs club, you’re not alone. Between computer time, driving and all the forward motions that we ask of our arms, it’s no surprise that we get a little stuck in the front of the chest.

This isn’t what I’d call a crisis, but when your pecs get tight enough from repetitive postures, unstable shoulders (and yes, too many push ups) it can ultimately lead to stiffness and discomfort across the upper back, neck and shoulders and that oh-so-sexy slumped posture.

The good news is that posture is just a reflection of whatever positions you’ve been holding most frequently and this is totally fixable.

With that in mind, this post includes some simple chest stretches you can do to using a foam roller. It’s a nice one to do when you feel that stiffness creeping into your system after sitting for a little too long or an upper body day at the gym.

I like to do this after long car and plane rides or when I’ve spent some time at my laptop. I usually follow it up with some shoulder stability exercises to strengthen the muscles that become weak from these activities to reinforce the opening and relief that comes with chest stretches.

These moves only take 5 minutes, so give them a try the next time you find yourself chained to your desk and let me know how it goes 🙂

Foam roller routine with chest stretches

Foam roller routine with chest stretches

Exercise Sequence

6-8 reps chest openers

chest stretches

6-8 reps snow angels 

chest stretches

3-5 reps straight arm circles (both directions)

chest stretches

3-5 reps bent arm circles (both directions)

chest stretches

*Note: If you feel any discomfort in your neck or shoulders try making your range of motion smaller. You can also place a small pillow under your head or do this on a half roller for a less intense stretch. 

Additionally, be mindful that your ribs stay settled on the roller throughout the movements. This will help keep the strain out of the lower back.