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Diana Remaley, LMT
Diana@RemaleyMassage.com
(203)292-5362
19 Compo Road South
Westport, CT

The Pec Wall Stretch

Open up your entire chest and shoulder

Injuries abound as yard working season begins. I see many lower back and shoulder issues from clients as they create their backyard paradises. I've discussed lower back stretches previously, and this week I'm focusing on shoulder issues.

The shoulder is a complicated joint, but often, the pectoralis muscles are implicated in anterior (front) shoulder pain. That's actually good news; the pec group is one of the easiest to stretch.

Anatomy Lesson

The pectoralis group (including “major” and “minor”) attach from about the sternum, across the chest to the top of the upper arm. This means that in order to stretch them, we need to move the upper arm farther away from the sternum. One could just hold the arm behind the body, pretending to fly upward, but there's an easier and more effective way.

 

The Stretch

Position your body perpendicular to a wall, with enough space to reach your arm behind yourself completely.

Place your palm flat against the wall, directly behind yourself in a straight line from your shoulder. To complete the stretch, inch your body closer to the wall, until you're touching it. To deepen the stretch even more, hinge your body farther away from the wall, moving from being exactly perpendicular to facing farther away from the wall.

Breathe deeply, don't bounce and move slowly and deliberately.

To engage your pec minor muscle in the stretch, slide your palm from parallel to the floor to about 45 degrees. Many people find stretching this muscle FAR more difficult, but more valuable as well. The pec minor specifically can be implicated in nerve pain down the arm, so learning to condition it is extremely good for the body.

Stretching this muscle group before and after yard work and exercise is so effective! Since the muscles are so large and superficial, you'll note that you can train them fairly easily and should notice a difference quickly. I recommend stretching them at least before use, when waking up and before bed. When your chest is clear and open, you'll feel like you can stand up straighter and breathe more easily. You'll love these stretches! And when you need a little more help with tension or a demonstration of these stretches, book a massage therapy appointment. I'll see you in my Westport office!

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Diana Remaley, LMT
Diana@RemaleyMassage.com
(203)292-5362
19 Compo Road South
Westport, CT