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

A Modified Pec Stretch

Are your shoulders and chest feeling tight? Give this stretch a try

 I've written about a number of pec stretches before, but this one is one of my favorites. It stretches not only the front of the shoulder, but also gives the feeling of stretching the back of the shoulderblades, which I think are less than mobile on most of us. Give this a try during the day if you're stuck at a desk, or even first thing in the morning to wake up your upper body. I love it!

Anatomy Lesson:

Primarily this stretch will affect your Pectoralis Minor and Pectoralis Major muscles. Secondarily, it will move your scapula (shoulderblade) in a way it doesn't normally move, which provides a feeling of release.

The Pec Major attaches from the sternum and clavicle to the upper arm (humerus). It's the huge muscle we think of when talking about the "Pecs". It's the first one you'll feel when you massage the area (Pec Minor is actually beneath it).

 

Importantly, the Pec Minor attaches from the third to fifth ribs and the scapula (shoulderblade), meaning we move it FAR more than Pec Major with this motion. Since it's also attached in a more vertical direction, moving the arm up at the elbow is what pulls it and stretches it more fully. Although smaller, the Pec Minor is often implicated more in pain than Pec Major. It's closer to the nerve and can also therefore cause numbness and tingling down the arm if it's hypertonic. That's why keeping it loose and soft is so critical.

The Stretch:

Bend your elbow at the level of your shoulder, with your palm near your ear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place your elbow in a door jamb (or on some other fixed object) and take a step forward, keeping your hand near your ear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let your shoulderblade bend backward and your elbow "fall" behind you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This should feel fantastic on both the front and back of the shoulder. Don't bounce; just let the weight of your body move you toward the floor. Hold for at least 20 seconds, or longer if you feel tight still. Repeat as often as you feel you need it!

The shoulder is probably the most complicated joint in the body; so if you're still feeling that it needs to move more freely, it's probably time for 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