2 Chest Stretches to Prevent Pain | STACK

2 Stretches to Prevent Chest Pain

April 7, 2013 | N'Namdi Nelson

Must See Flexibility Videos

The key to a healthy strong physique is muscle balance. If certain muscles regularly tend to be tight, it usually means they're weak. This causes the opposing muscle to overstretch and weaken, leading to a muscular imbalance.

A frequently neglected muscle group is the chest. When chest muscles are tight, more pressure is placed on tendons and ligaments. This can make your shoulders roll forward and/or your upper back round, typically causing pain in the upper chest area and the upper- to mid-back. (See STACK Science: How Muscles Work and How To Make Them Work Better.)

Avoid chest pain and regain muscle balance with the following two chest stretches.

Arm Hugs

Arm Hugs are a dynamic stretch that can be done during a warm-up prior to practice or competition.
They can also be done before you perform chest-dominant exercises such as Push-Ups and Bench Press.

To perform this stretch:

  • Actively open your arms to the sides, then hug your body
  • Maintain a slight bend in your elbow to focus on your chest muscles
  • Slightly increase range of motion with each rep

Bench Chest Stretch

This static stretch can be performed after your chest workout is completed.

To perform this stretch:

  • Lie face up on a bench holding 2.5-pound weights out to the sides with a slight bend in your elbow
  • Allow gravity to stretch your chest muscles
  • Hold about 30 seconds
This static stretch can be performed after your chest  workout is completed. Holding a 2.5 dumbbell out to the side is optional
In the photo: Cory Giordano, Fordham Prep H.S
NNamdi Nelson
- N'Namdi Nelson specializes in athlete development training and injury prevention, with a focus on football, baseball, basketball, and track and field. Nelson was a board...
NNamdi Nelson
- N'Namdi Nelson specializes in athlete development training and injury prevention, with a focus on football, baseball, basketball, and track and field. Nelson was a board...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

STACK Challenge: The Chest and Abs Circuit

12 Dynamic Stretches Football Players Must Do

The Importance of Recovery Workouts

3 Yoga Twists to Keep You on the Field and Improve Your Game

Mobility Training for Hockey Goalies

Pro Secrets, Revealed: The Perfect Workout Warm-Up

A Tight Back May Hurt Your Performance and Health

Patrick Peterson's Yoga Workout

Vanderbilt Baseball Pull-Ups

Why and When You Need to Change Your Pre-Game Warm-Up Routine

Improve Your Bench Press With Perfect Push-Up Form

You're Doing It Wrong: The Warm-Up

Get a Big Chest With 5 Stand-up Exercises

Perfect Your Bench

Four-Stage Football Warm-Up

Improve Your Squat With 6 At-Home Hip Flexor Mobility Exercises

3 Dumbbell Chest Exercises to Impress the Rest

The 10-Minute Warm-Up

3 Common Causes of Weight Room Chest Pain

Why I Recommend Dumbbell Chest Exercises for Athletes

Why Athletes Should Practice Yoga

Increase Your Flexibility Without Stretching

These 9 Exercises Will Improve Your Hip Mobility

TD1 Minute: The Bench Press

Build a Game-Ready Chest

Boost Power With This Med Ball Chest Workout

Stay Pain-Free With These Advanced Stretches

4 Goals and 23 Movements for an Effective Athletic Warm-Up

Power Up Your Pecs With Inner-Chest Exercises

A Dumbbell Chest Workout to Build Strength and Size

3 Tips To Make Your Stretching Routine More Effective

Build Your Chest Without the Bench Press

The Best Stretching Exercise for You

Improve Your Back and Core Flexibility With a Physioball

The Ultimate Push-Up Workout Plan

How to Build a Stronger Chest

The Ultimate Pitcher's Warm-Up: 4 Shoulder Exercises with Bands

2 Stretches to Prevent Chest Pain

The Most Important Muscle You've Never Heard Of

Pectoral Tendon Ruptures and Injury Prevention

Pre-Workout Warm-Up Steps You Can't Afford to Skip

Sport-Functional Ways to Build Your Chest

Why Football Players Must Perform Movement Preparation Warm-Ups

Animal Flow Scorpion Reach for Injury Prevention

Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises for a Safe, Effective Workout

Want a Bigger Chest? Don't Focus on the Flat Bench

Go the Distance With This Baseball Yoga Warm-Up

Dig Like a Pro: Exercises for Volleyball Mobility

Are Tight Hips Slowing You Down?

Flexibility for Cross Country From the Ground Up

Green Bay Packers Discover Football's Fountain of Youth

The Secret to Bigger Pecs

6 Thoracic Spine Exercises to Improve Mobility

Best Exercises for Improving Joint Mobility

Pre-Match Warm-Ups that Will Improve Your Tennis Game

4 Non-Bench Press Exercises to Build Chest Strength

How to Pair Exercises for a Chest and Back Workout

Build a Bigger Upper Chest with These Exercises

Must-Have Additions to Your Baseball Stretching Routine

Find Your Effective Pregame Basketball Warm-Up

How to Fix 4 Common Tight Areas in Your Body

Balance Exercises That Are Game-Changers

Why You Shouldn't Stretch 24 Hours Before a Game

Fundamentals of a Pre-Workout Warm-Up

Add Warrior Poses to Your In-Season Training

3-Day Workout to Build Chest Mass and Strength

3 Exercises That Fix Common Baseball Hip Mobility Issues

Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises Done the Right Way