upper body stretches

20 Best Upper Body Stretches You Can Do at Home

If you’re looking for stretches for arms, shoulders, upper back, neck, and chest, this article will show you the best upper body stretches to add to your routine.

You’re totally missing out if you don’t do upper body stretches. Stretching improves flexibility, speeds up recovery, lowers the risk of injury and improves posture.

Stretching after every workout can give you all these benefits. But if you want to stretch before your workout, remember to do these warm-up exercises. Doing static stretches without a warm-up can strain your muscles and ligaments.

The Best Upper Body Stretches

In this article, you will discover upper body stretches you can do at home to loosen your upper body muscles #upper #body #stretches #flabfix

Arm stretches

Stretching your arms can relieve pain in your triceps, biceps, and forearm. Some of these arm stretches will also loosen your upper back and shoulders.

Triceps stretch

This stretch improves triceps flexibility and range of motion. It also loosens the lats.

How to perform

Stand upright and keep your feet hip-width apart.

Bend the left arm then lift it until the elbow points the ceiling.

Grab the elbow with the right arm and then gently pull it backward.

Hold the stretch for 20 seconds then release and repeat 3 times.

triceps stretch

Biceps stretch

Most people have tight biceps because this muscle is bent most of the time. This stretch will increase the range of motion and strengthen your arms.

How to perform

Stand upright and clasp your hands behind the back.

Keep the arms straight and twist your wrists such that the palms face the floor.

Pull your hands away from the back as far as you can.

Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds then rest and repeat.

Wrist extensors

Doing this arm stretch will strengthen your grip, loosen your forearm and prevent arm injuries.

How to perform

Stand straight and stretch both hands out in front.

Keep the palms facing upward. Grab the fingers of the right arm with the left arm and gently pull them down without moving the arm.

Hold the stretch for 15 seconds then switch arms.

Wrist extensor arm stretch

Reverse prayer pose

This yoga pose is great for loosening tight wrist and forearm. The reverse prayer pose also stretches the shoulders.

How to perform

Bring both hands behind your back and then stick your chest out.

Twist your wrist so that your fingers face upward. And then bring your palms to touch each other.

Hold the stretch for 30 seconds then rest and repeat.

You can make the stretch more challenging by trying lift bring your fingers as close to the upper back as possible.

arm stretch reverse prayer pose

Chest stretches

Stretching your best will help improve your posture. Tight chest muscles can cause a hunched back posture. Here are the best stretches for chest.

Kneeling backbend stretch

This stretch is popular among yoga enthusiasts. The kneeling backbend also stretches the shoulders, hip flexors, and stomach.

How to perform

Kneel on a yoga mat or a piece of cloth and keep your feet hip-width apart.

Slowly bend your back until you touch your heels with each arm.

Hold the stretch for 30 seconds then rest and repeat.

Avoid the mistake of moving the thighs back. Only your upper back should bend.

chest stretch kneeling backbend

Stability ball chest stretch

The stability ball (swiss ball) is a great equipment for stretching chest muscles.

How to perform

Lie on your back and place the middle of your back on the swiss ball.

Keep your legs straight and butt off the floor.

Spread your arms and place them on the floor.

Keep your neck hanging down and make sure you feel the chest stretch.

Hold the stretch for 30 seconds then rest and repeat.

stability ball chest stretch

Doorway stretch

This stretch loosens the chest and shoulder muscles.

How to perform

Stand in the middle of a doorway.

Bend both elbows at 90 degrees. And lift your arms until the triceps are parallel to the floor.

Place the elbows and forearms on both sides of the doorframes.

Move forward until you feel the chest muscles stretch.

Hold the stretch for 30 seconds then rest and repeat.

Above head chest stretch

This stretch will loosen your upper chest muscles and shoulders. It can be performed sitting or standing.

How to perform

Sit upright then clasp your hands behind the head.

Keep the neck in its neutral position and keep the elbow facing outward.

Pull the elbows back as much as you can then hold that position for 30 seconds.

Feel free to ask a partner to pull your elbows backs.

chest opening stretch

Shoulder stretches

The shoulder is one of the most sensitive joints and that’s why most of us have had a shoulder injury. The shoulder stretches below will lower risk of shoulder injury and alleviate any shoulder pain you may have.

Crossover shoulder stretch

This is one of my favorite upper body stretches. It loosens the shoulder muscles and triceps.

How to perform

Stand upright and keep your feet hip-width apart.

Lift the left arm until it’s parallel to the floor. Keep the arm straight and then bring it close to the right chest.

Grab the elbow of the left arm with the right arm and pull it as close to the right chest as possible.

Hold the stretch for 30 seconds then rest and repeat.

Crossover shoulder stretch

Towel shoulder stretch

You’ll need a towel or a piece of cloth to perform this stretch.

How to perform

Stand straight and keep your feet together.

Hold a short towel with the right arm. Raise the right arm and bring it behind the head.

The towel should be handing on your back.

Bring the left arm to the back and grab the towel.

Gently pull the towel upward with the right arm then hold the stretch for 20 seconds.

Switch hands and hold the stretch for the same duration.

towel shoulder stretch

Overhead shoulder stretch

This stretch will help increase shoulder range of motion and loosen the lats.

How to perform

Stand straight and keep your feet hip-width apart.

Interlock your arms and twist your wrists so that your palms face the floor.

Slowly raise your arms and bring them over the head.

Hold the stretch for 20 seconds then rest and repeat.

overhead shoulder stretch

Standing wall stretch

You can use the wall to stretch your shoulders. This stretch will also loosen the chest and triceps.

How to perform

Stand two steps away from the wall (facing it).

Bend your hips and then place your hands on the wall. Keep your elbow and back straight.

Keep the neck in its neutral position and keep the shoulders fully extended.

Hold the stretch for 30 seconds then rest and repeat.

Upper back stretches

Stretching the upper back can help improve posture and reduce back pain. Here are the best upper back stretches.

Eagle arms yoga pose

This pose will stretch your upper back and shoulders. It can be very beneficial to people who sit on desks every day.

How to perform

Stand upright and stretch your hands out in front. Keep the hands parallel to the floor.

Cross the arms then bend your elbows at 90 degrees. The hands should be pointing to the ceiling.

Wrap the forearms around each other as much as flexibility allows.

Hold this position for 20 seconds.

upper back eagle pose

Clasped arms back-stretch

How to perform

Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart.

Clasp your arms and twist your elbow to allow your palms to face the floor.

Keep both hands straight and then lift them until they’re parallel to the floor.

Extend the shoulders forward and hold the stretch for 30 seconds.

Yoga cat stretch

This stretch reduces tightness in the back muscles.

How to perform

Get in all-fours position.

Pull your stomach in and then lift the upper back as high as possible.

Hold the stretch for 20 seconds then rest and repeat.

upper back stretch cat pose

Child’s pose

This is one of the best stretches for relieving lower back pain. And it also stretches the upper back.

How to perform

Kneel on a yoga mat then rest your butt on the heels.

Stretch your hands out in front and place them on the floor.

Place your head on the floor too and hold that position for 30 seconds.

upper back stretch child pose

Neck stretches

Most of us need to stretch the neck regular because we stick our necks out every day when using phones and computers. Ignoring neck stretches can cause forward head posture.

Neck tuck stretch

This is one of the best stretches for correcting forward head posture.

How to perform

Keep your neck in its neutral position.

Place your fingers on the chin and then press it in.

Avoid moving the head. Tuck the neck for 20 seconds then rest and repeat.

neck stretch neck tuck

Clasping neck stretch

This stretch will loosen the muscles at the back of your neck.

How to perform

Stand or sit upright and then clasp both hands and place them behind your head.

Press the head forward without bending the upper back.

Stretch the neck as far as possible then hold the stretch for 30 seconds.

Clasping neck stretch

Neck turns

Simply turning your neck can improve flexibility.

How to perform

Sit upright and keep the neck in its neutral position.

Turn your head to the left side as far as flexibility allows.

Hold that position for 15 seconds then turn your head to the right side and do the same thing.

Side neck stretch

This upper body stretch will loosen the side-neck muscles.

How to perform

Sit upright and then lift the right hand over the head and touch the left ear.

Gently pull your head to the right side without moving the upper body.

Hold the stretch for 20 seconds then rest and switch sides.

side neck stretch

Final word

Most people only focus on strength training and ignore stretching. That’s a big mistake because stretching prevents injuries, muscle tightness, and bad posture.

Do these upper body stretches regularly to enjoy all the benefits of stretching.

How often do you do upper body stretches?