Back in Action: 2 Upper Body Stretches Using A Chair

I ran into one of my fitness students last week whom I haven’t seen in quite a while. 

She had been a big fan of my step class and rarely missed for several years. She told me that she hated not being in class, but her shoulder bothered her while doing arm movements in class so she was giving it a break. 

I told her to give a regular stretching routine a try to help her shoulder be “back in action” soon.

She looked at me with disbelief that stretching could really help her… it can!

Our upper body is just as active as our lower body all day and so those muscles are just as tight. 

When most people think of stretching, they think mostly of lower body stretches like hamstrings, quads and calves. 

But upper body opener stretches are just as important!

These stretches unlock tight muscle tissue, allowing blood to flow more freely through joints. 

This enables healing, increased flexibility and range of motion, and ease of movement. 

These upper body opener stretches also elongate the spine, taking tightness and strain out of the lower back and producing better posture and improved sleep!

Whoa…. there are way too many great reasons to be stretching your upper body!

So grab a chair and let’s stretch that upper body!

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Chair Upper Body Opener Stretch

Turn the chair around so that you are facing the back of it.

Put both hands on back of chair and step arm’s length away. Your legs should be a little more than shoulder length apart.

Keeping your back and legs straight (but not locked), bend down toward the ground, putting your head through your extended arms.

Hold this stretch for 15 - 20 seconds. It should feel really good!

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Chair Upper Body Opener Stretch (Deeper)

Now turn the chair so that the seat of the chair is facing you.

You will repeat the same motions as above, but with your hands in the seat of the chair—this will move you into a deeper upper body opener stretch!

Put both hands on seat of chair and step arm’s length away. Your legs should be a little more than shoulder length apart.

Keeping your back and legs straight (but not locked), bend down toward the ground, putting your head through your extended arms.

Hold this stretch 15 - 20 seconds to really stretch out that upper body!


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