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Stretching for Shoulders, Back & Chest

Our modern lifestyles cause a huge problem for our shoulder and chest flexibility. We spend hours hunched over books, laptops and phones, added to by excessive chest and shoulder contractions at the gym.

WHY IS THIS A PROBLEM? Tight chest and shoulders can result in:

  • Bad posture & backaches

  • Poor shoulder flexibility & mobility for movement and sports

  • Increase the likelihood of shoulder and back injuries

This particular chest and shoulder sequence incorporates elements of Yoga, Dance, Gymnastics, Biokinetics, and Pilates that can significantly improve shoulder flexibility. Ideally, done with a exercise ball as part of a warmup circuit or at home. Try this twice a week for one month to see immediate benefits, and feel your chest and shoulders opening up as you are supported by the ball underneath you.

If you do not have an exercise ball available, you can replicate some of these exercises with most objects, a sofa, Swedish wall bars, or a ballet barre. The key to this exercise is:

  1. Keep core engaged with tailbone tucked under

  2. Ribcage wants to poke out and to the front: actively tuck it under by rolling ribs under your sternum

  3. Keep shoulders square and always forward: don't allow the movement to pull your shoulders backwards.


  • ALWAYS warm up with at least one track from your WARMUP playlist first

  • Use these tracks either as part of your flexibility training or as part of your cool down

  • Deep flexibility/hyper flexibility training should NOT be performed before a heavy training session - leave this for the end or after your practice

  • Ensure the room is warm enough for you to stretch

  • Wear long layers if the room is cold

  • Don't ever force a stretch: soreness/being uncomfortable is ok, but sharp pain is not

  • Focus on the geometry and alignment of your positions

  • Breathe deeply (breathe OUT as you deepen the stretch)

Jessica Z. Christensen - Writer & Academy Director

Jessica is an education specialist in the field of holistic training for sports and fitness, with over 12 years in the industry working as a trainer and educator. Founder of BBS Training Academy™, she is a NASM CPT with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and is passionate about functional anatomy, human evolution and optimised performance. She brings passion and care to all her students and never teaches the same class twice. You can catch her on Youtube for monthly free live workouts!

Jessica Z Christensen Author

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