2 Stretches to Prevent Chest Pain

Prevent or alleviate chest pain and regain muscle balance with these two chest stretches.

Arm Hug

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock