11 Feel-So-Good Chest Stretches

Time to open up that upper body.

How to stretch your chest, according to fitness pros.


You’ll know you have tight chest muscles if your shoulders are rounded forward, says Stretch*d program director Jeff Brannigan. The same is true if your lats and pecs feel stiff or sore. To learn how to stretch chest muscles to give the area TLC, here are stretches to try.

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Chest Opener

Brannigan suggests starting with this simple stretch.

- Sit or stand, back straight.

- Interlace hands behind head.

- Contract shoulder blades.

- Swing elbows as far back as you can.

Hold for two seconds, repeat 10x.


Extended Arms Chest Opener

Move onto this one, especially if you tend to slouch.

- Sit or stand, spine straight.

- Reach arms in front of you.

- Contract shoulder blades.

- Open arms out wide, as far as you can.

Hold for two seconds, repeat 10x.

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Brannigan also recommends this stretch to open the chest.

- Back straight.

- Swing one arm up to ceiling.

- Swing other arm down to floor.

- Reach as far as you can in both directions.

Hold for two seconds, alternate sides 10x.

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Brannigan says this helps lengthen your muscles.

- Stand with back, butt, heels against wall.

- Lift arms up perpendicular, press backs of hands into wall.

- Rotate elbows so palms face floor.

- Hold 2 seconds.

- Rotate arms up, press hands into wall.

Repeat 10x.


Stomach Stretch

To improve poor posture, try this move from trainer Anna Kaiser.

- Lie on stomach, right arm perpendicular out to side.

- Roll body to right, lean into arm.

- Feel stretch along right side of chest.

Hold 30 seconds, repeat on other side.

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Resistance Band Stretch

Kaiser says this dynamic stretch helps loosen tight pecs.

- Grip resistance band with both hand, arms out straight.

- Keep left arm straight out, open right arm to side.

- Do slight torso rotation with control.

- Bring arm back to center.

Repeat 10x per side.


Tabletop Twist Pose

Try this stretch from trainer Olivia Bowman-Jackson, who says to reach a bit further back as your chest starts to open.

- Kneel on the floor, on hands and knees.

- Inhale, reach one arm to sky. Look up.

- Exhale, return hand to floor.

- Repeat on other side.

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Wall Stretch

Relax your lat and pec muscles with this stretch from trainer Heather Lachance.

- Place hands on wall above head.

- With elbows straight, drop head between arms.

- Stick butt back, lean into stretch.

Hold for 10 to 30 seconds.

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Overhead Stretch

Yoga teacher Kate Lombardo says this move will open your entire chest.

- Clasp hands together. Turn palms out.

- Lift arms overhead.

- Lift up through sides of chest.

- Release arms to sides.

- Clasp arms behind back, reach to floor.

- Hold each for 5 breaths.

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Camel Pose

Yoga instructor Ayana Frierson says this move relieves tight shoulder muscles.

- Kneel on floor.

- Place hands on lower back.

- Engage glutes, lift chest.

- Tilt head back, if you can.

- Take deep breaths.

Hold for 30 seconds.

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90-Degree Wall Stretch

This one from Corey Lewis is easy to do throughout the day.

- Stand sideways by wall, feet in split stance, shoulder-width apart.

- Place forearm on wall, create 90-degree angle with elbow.

- Gently press into wall, keep chest up.

Hold 30 seconds per side.

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