Our fitness expert suggests a stretch for tight shoulder and chest muscles.
Question: "I have incredibly tight shoulders. What's the best way to stretch them?"
Answer: Tight shoulders often accompany tight chest muscles; this move from Martin Kirk, coauthor of Hatha Yoga Illustrated (Human Kinetics, 2005), will loosen up both.
- Standing with feet hip-width apart, clasp your hands behind your back, keeping a slight bend in the elbows.
- Inhale to expand your chest and lengthen the sides of your body.
- Softly bend your knees, then slowly bend at the waist, bringing your hands toward the ceiling while moving your shoulder blades toward each other.
- Hold for 10 breaths and release.
- Try to do this twice a day.
Originally published in Fitness magazine, January 2006.