Fitness · Health

Three Great Upper Body Stretches to Do Every Day

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This post is part of our series of Fitness Saturday exercises, workouts, and expert tips appropriate to women in the second half of life. Jonathan Urla, a certified advanced health and fitness specialist, shares three great upper body stretches to do everyday.


When most people think about stretching, they picture themselves bending over and stretching their leg muscles. And that is all that some people do regularly. However, many of us carry around tension in our upper body, particularly the shoulders and arms. Tightness in the arms and shoulders is easily neglected and can get exacerbated when we do exercises for the upper body. To help you relieve this tension, I am going to show you three great stretches that effectively release unnecessary tightness in this area and bring more freedom and range of motion for your arms.

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Upper Body Str #1 
1. Arm Cross Stretch – Stand, or sit, and reach your right arm across your chest. Reach up from underneath with your left arm and press your hand or inside of your forearm against the upper part of your right arm (above the elbow). We call this a “figure 4” arm position. Allow your right arm to be relaxed and press it against your chest as you pull it gently across. Keep your shoulders down and feel the stretch on the back of right shoulder, and also feel compression on the front of your chest muscle near your armpit. Hold this stretch for 20 seconds. Repeat with other arm.

  Upper Body Str #2  Upper Body Str #3

2. Hands Behind the Back – Standing, clasp your hands together behind your back with the palms facing each other. Roll your shoulder blades back and as close together as you can. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Next, lift your arms up behind you as high as you can and bend over slightly with your torso. Hold this position for 10 seconds.

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