Do you find that your neck and shoulders are constantly sore, tight and unhappy? Want to extend that glorious relaxed upper back and neck feeling in between massage treatments? Try this chest opening stretch using a foam roller! Opening up your chest and letting your spine relax into its neutral position is one of the best things we can do to help combat poor posture, neck tension (“tech neck”), upper back tension, stress and so much more. Don’t have a foam roller? No problem! See variations and tips below.
Step 1 – Lie on your back with your knees bent comfortably – make sure your head and buttocks are fully supported on the foam roller
Step 2 – Extend your arms straight out to the side with your palms facing up. If your flexibility allows you to increase the stretch – bend elbows 90 degrees in a “cactus” position.
Step 3 – Close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths. Relax your shoulders down and away from your ears and feel your arms slowly sinking toward the ground in their own time.
Step 4 – Continue to relax your entire body, shoulders, neck and face for at least 5 minutes in this position.
Step 5 – Slowly roll off to the side and push yourself up into a comfortable seated position before standing up – take your time getting up!
Step 6 – Feel amazing!
Step 7 – Repeat daily
TIPS AND VARIATIONS – Most importantly – never force a stretch! Time and regular practice is the magic key to unlock your flexibility. You should feel a gentle stretch, breathe and let your body relax into it as much as possible. Try listening to a guided meditation or a relaxing playlist to help yourself fully relax, recharge and enjoy. If your foam roller isn’t long enough, use a pillow or other prop to help support your neck. If you don’t have a foam roller, you can use a thick rolled up towel or firm pillow in between your shoulder blades, or try simply lying on the floor (preferably carpet, or use a yoga mat). Chances are if you haven’t done a stretch like this before you won’t need anything more to feel the stretch across your pectoral muscles (chest). Or get creative! If you’re at the gym you can use one of the benches and let your arms hang off to the side, you could also add in a light weight to each hand (1kg) if you need more stretch. Always stretch within your own limits.
As always with any stretch, if you feel any pain or intense discomfort come out of the stretch gently and immediately and seek advice if the pain persists.
If you have any questions for me – just ask anytime!
Happy relaxing 🙂