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Super Stretches for Your Upper Body

Fatigue, stress and bad posture can cause stiffness and soreness in the shoulders, neck, chest and upper back. Doing the following stretches regularly can help prevent and relieve these conditions, according to Jim Brown, author of One Hundred Stretches.

Stretching tips

  • Warm up before you stretch by walking, bending, twisting or doing gentle calisthenics.

  • Stretch to the point of resistance, but not to the point of pain.

  • Do each stretch two or three times.

  • Hold each stretch for three to five seconds.

  • Don’t forget to breathe as normally as possible.

Chest stretch

Stand in front of an open doorway with your feet staggered and your arms raised so they’re parallel to the floor. Place your palms against the frame of the door. Lean forward and hold the position.

Elbow pull

Put your left arm behind your back in a flexed position. Grasp it with your right hand, and pull your elbow across the midline of your back, or at least in that direction. If you can’t reach your elbow with the opposite hand, hold your wrist instead. Switch sides and repeat.

Upper back

Sit in a chair with a straight back that extends to the middle of your back. Lock your fingers and put your hands behind your head. Lean back and move your arms back at the same time.