2 Chest Stretches to Prevent Pain | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

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...
Must See
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 19,260,960
Michael Jordan: Mind of a Champion
Views: 545,210
Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 2,761,355

Featured Videos

Dwight Howard Ab Workout Views: 62,466
John Wall Elbow-to-Elbow Shooting Drill Views: 186,478
Elite Performance with Mike Boyle: Build Explosive Power With Contrast Training Views: 17,723
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Colby Lewis's Post-Game Band Splitter Routine
Views: 8,349,368
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,988,602
Allyson Felix Explains How To Choose a Coach
Views: 8,690,610
Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker
Views: 29,505
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,175,033

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

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

Look in any pitcher's game bag and you're almost guaranteed to find two things: sunflower seeds and stretch bands. While the performance enhancing...

Are Tight Hips Slowing You Down?

You're Doing It Wrong: The Warm-Up

6 Thoracic Spine Exercises to Improve Mobility

Best Exercises for Improving Joint Mobility

3 Tips To Make Your Stretching Routine More Effective

The Importance of Recovery Workouts

Pro Secrets, Revealed: The Perfect Workout Warm-Up

How Hockey Goalies Can Get More Flexible for a Better Butterfly

Go the Distance With This Baseball Yoga Warm-Up

Why You Shouldn't Stretch 24 Hours Before a Game

The Best Stretching Exercise for You

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

Mobility Training for Hockey Goalies

Fundamentals of a Pre-Workout Warm-Up

Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises for a Safe, Effective Workout

These 9 Exercises Will Improve Your Hip Mobility

Animal Flow Scorpion Reach for Injury Prevention

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

Find Your Effective Pregame Basketball Warm-Up

How to Release Muscle Knots and Trigger Points

Reducing Tight Hamstrings without Stretching for Hockey Players

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

Improve Your Balance with Stability Ball Exercises

3 Exercises That Fix Common Baseball Hip Mobility Issues

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

Must-Have Additions to Your Baseball Stretching Routine

How to Fix 4 Common Tight Areas in Your Body

Balance Exercises That Are Game-Changers

The Most Important Muscle You've Never Heard Of

Green Bay Packers Discover Football's Fountain of Youth

Stay Pain-Free With These Advanced Stretches

The Yoga Warm-Up for Basketball Players

Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises Done the Right Way

Patrick Peterson's Yoga Workout

Flexibility for Cross Country From the Ground Up

Build a More Powerful Golf Swing With These Mobility Drills

Increase Your Flexibility Without Stretching

Add Warrior Poses to Your In-Season Training

Dig Like a Pro: Exercises for Volleyball Mobility

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