Don’t Let Those Shoulders Round Forward | Stretch Those Chest Muscles

When you complete your last set of exercises in your workout, the last thing you want to do is take additional time to stretch. You would rather just head to the locker room, change, and get on with your day.  Did you know that eliminating stretching from your workout routine can inhibit you from reaching your fitness goals?Just below our skin you will find a network of fibers known as fascia.  This network consists of collagen fibers that cover and protect our muscles, organs, blood vessels, bones, and nerves.  When we fail to stretch or use our fascia on a regular basis, it tightens just like our muscles.  In fact, fascia thickens in order to protect our muscles from injury.  The lack of opening up our chest muscles can prevent our muscles from getting stronger, simply because there is no room for them to grow.  Chronic tightness in our chest and fascia can also inhibit full range of motion from occurring, limiting our bodies of what they are capable of doing.  Our chest muscles are used in many of our daily activities, and it's essential we are sure stretch them after use so they can return to their original state.Our fascia responds more slowly to stretching than our muscles do, so it's imperative to stretch them for longer periods of time in order to receive the benefits.  Below are a few chest stretches that will help elongate your muscles and ease them of their tightness.

  1. Open door stretch: Stand in between a doorway and place each of your forearms on either side. Bring one of your legs and lean into that leg to stretch the chest
  1. Shoulder blade squeeze: Bring both of your arms straight behind you, palms facing away.  While maintaining an upright position, try and touch the back of your palms together.
Remember, a lot of us do not like to stretch, so a great tip that you can follow is to stretch between sets. For example, if you are working your chest muscles when doing bench press or even push-ups, it is always great to stretch the opposing muscles groups in order to have a full range of motion. The Art of Personal Training by Kisar Dhillon107 SE Washington Street, Suite 137Portland, Oregon 97214(503) 953-0241