Upper Body Stretches

by Jessica B. | May 8th, 2012 | Strength Training, Upper Body

An important part of any workout routine is a good stretch afterwards. Many studies show that stretching after a workout accelerates muscle growth, and it also increases the rate of recovery. Not to mention, a good stretch just feels great. Here are a few straightforward stretches you should be doing at the end of any good upper body workout. Stretches are best done after a workout, while your body is soft and supple.

1) Neck stretches – The last thing you want to injure is your neck. Stretch your neck out slowly, without any jerky motions.

a) Side-to-side – Rest your neck on your right shoulder, and then move slowly to rest your neck on your left shoulder. Do between 8-12 on each side.

b) Front-to-back – Same idea, nod your head forward and then look up to the ceiling. Remember to do this slowly 8-12 times.

c) Rotate – Look to your left, and then slowly rotate your head to the right. Repeat 8-12 times.

2) Upper arm stretch 1 – Reach your right arm up towards the ceiling, and then bend it at the elbow, so your hand hangs behind you. Reach your left hand up and push gently backwards on your elbow. You should feel the stretch in your upper arm and shoulder. Hold for 10 seconds then switch sides.

3) Upper arm stretch 2 – Reach your right arm across the front of your body and catch it in the crook of the elbow of your left arm. Pull your arm right arm closer to your body with the help of your left arm. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch arms.

4) Chest stretch – Reach both your arms behind your back, and clench your hands together. Raise your hands slowly up until you feel your shoulders begin to pull together. You can lean forward and raise your arms even further. Hold for 10 seconds.

5) Shoulder shrugs – Raise your shoulders in a round circular motion. They should be raised upwards, and then wrapped around to the back. Repeat 8-12 times.

6) Lower back stretch – Lie down on a mat, and get ready for a yoga twist. Bend your knees, and lay them towards your left. Reach your arms out and look towards your right. You should feel the stretch in your lower back. Switch sides after 10 seconds.

7) Back stretch – Reach your arms in front of you, and clasp your hands together. Pull your arms forward. Hold for 10 seconds.

When you are done, make sure you drink plenty of water to get everything moving through and out of your system.

Remember to always make time to stretch after your workout!

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.