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How Can I Stretch My Super-Tight Shoulders?

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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.

  1. Standing with feet hip-width apart, clasp your hands behind your back, keeping a slight bend in the elbows.
  2. Inhale to expand your chest and lengthen the sides of your body.
  3. Softly bend your knees, then slowly bend at the waist, bringing your hands toward the ceiling while moving your shoulder blades toward each other.
  4. Hold for 10 breaths and release.
  5. Try to do this twice a day.

Originally published in Fitness magazine, January 2006.


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