Sometimes after a workout, your pectoral muscles will feel sore and tight. You may need to loosen and stretch them out to make them feel better. Without stretching them, they might take longer to repair.
How to stretch your pecs so that you get rid of soreness and tightness? I’ll show you some exercises you can do that will stretch out your pectoral muscles, opening up your chest, and strengthening your back.
These are exercises that are excellent for people with upper back problems, shoulder pain, and other upper body injuries.
Stretching out your pecs can work other areas in the torso, relieving tension and helping soreness to go away faster.
What does it mean when your pectorals are too tight? For many people, the reason they have tight pecs is because of their posture and sedentary lifestyle. They are some of the most important muscles in your body, used for a variety of activities in your daily life. They are engaged in activity for almost anything you do that requires your upper body.
If your pectorals are too tight, that can cause you to have forward head posture and rounded shoulders. These are considered postural dysfunctions.
Poor posture means you’re more likely to have spinal and back issues later in life. It also means you are more likely to sustain an injury, and any injury sustained is more likely to be serious.
Poor posture also leads to a lack of mobility, flexibility, and agility. By getting rid of the tightness in your pecs, you can help your body in all of these areas. You’ll be less likely to feel sore and achy in your shoulders and across your chest.
Having overly tight pectorals can also pull your posture in, giving you a shy, timid stance. If you live a mostly sedentary lifestyle, you’re at risk for suffering from all of these problems, but doing regular pectoral stretches can help eliminate these issues.
I’m going to share with you a few stretches you can use to open up your pectorals, decreasing tightness, stretching out your muscles, and giving you greater mobility and range of motion.
Best Exercises for Stretching Your Pecs
Bent-Arm Wall Stretch
For this exercise, you want to stand in a split stance. Stand next to a wall or in a doorway with your right leg at the front of your left leg. Your left arm should come up to the height of your shoulder, and you will need to place your palms in the inside of your arm the doorway or the surface of a flat wall.
If you’re doing this properly, your arm should be positioned at a 90 degree angle, with your forearm parallel to your body.
From this position, press your chest towards the open space. You should feel it stretching and opening. You can stretch different parts of your chest as you do this, moving your arm up or down along the wall.
If you still feel tightness after doing this exercise, reposition your arm and try a different height and see if that works for you.
This exercise lets you work on the two sides of your chest on their own. Make sure you repeat the exercise for both sides of your chest.
This is one of the simplest methods for how to stretch your shoulders and pecs, working these areas of the body that many people never do if they live a sedentary lifestyle.
Only stretch as far as you can without discomfort. You don’t have to push very far in the chest to get the stretching benefits from this exercise.
Hands-above-Head Chest Stretch
You have some options with this stretch- you can do it either sitting down or standing. You can also place your hands in a few different positions to focus on your chest your shoulders. Feel free to try various positions to open up different muscles and work different areas of your upper body.
You can position your palms to face in front of you, downwards, or behind you as you do this.
The position with the most tension and muscle benefits will definitely be facing your palms toward your front appearing
From this position with your fingers interlocked, squeeze together your shoulder blades and then force your elbows and hands to move backwards. As you do this exercise, you should feel your chest opening up, your muscles stretching, and the tightness leaving your upper body.
You can change up how high your hands are or position your hands in front of your head, behind your head, over your head or resting on top of your head.
These different positions have their own benefits, and playing around with them can help you to work different muscle groups.
You may be stretching out your back doing just regular activities, or you may be able to adapt some of the activities you do each day with some stretches. How to stretch out your pecs as part of your daily routine?
You can do what is known as the towel stretch. This is something you can do whenever you’re drying yourself. Start by standing with your feet apart and relax your shoulders.
Hold the towel behind your back using both hands, with each hand gripping a different end of the towel. Keep your elbows straight as you do this.
Use your hands to pull back on the towel until your shoulders open and extend out. You should feel your chest stretching as you do this. You should hold this stretch for about 20 seconds or so. Then, relax and repeat the stretch a few times.
This is a powerful stretch that doesn’t have to be done every single day of the week. You can just choose three days throughout the week, spread apart from one another.
If you are stretching your chest too much, it can cause chest pain, which is why I suggest spreading the exercise out a little bit.
I want to share with you something about doing this exercise- that it’s important for you to breathe deeply and steadily while you’re holding the stretch. You can breathe in through your nose and then exhale from your mouth.
A variation on this stretch that’s even more powerful is to clasp your hands together behind your back. You may struggle with the range of motion required for that, however.
The Camel Pose
The final chest stretching exercise I want to share with you is called the camel pose, which is excellent for increasing your range of motion and flexibility.
For this pose, you start by kneeling on the floor and place your hands at your sides. Your knees should be resting about a hip length apart from each other. With your hands, reach backwards to your heels.
At the same time, push your hips forward and allow your head to rest backwards. Hold this pose for about 15 seconds, and then let it go.
If you can, try to keep holding the pose for up to 30 seconds, or work up to that length of time.
Do this a few times during the week.
Like the previous stretch, this can really stretch out your chest and shouldn’t be done more than a few times each week.
One thing to keep in mind about this stretch is that you should only push yourself as far as you can do so comfortably. If you start to experience any breathing difficulties, you may want to keep your head up and your chin tucked close to your chest.
You can also try resting your hands on your lower back, if they are unable to reach all the way to your heels. The focus of this exercise is to open up your chest muscles and release tension there rather than to strain your back or your arms.
My name is Ellis Francis and I have been a personal fitness trainer, sports nutritionalist and health and fitness advisor for over 25 years. I am the lead health and fitness advisor at https://ahumanbody.com.