Upper Body

Targeted Muscles: Arms, chest, and shoulders
 
Tip: As you progress, the goal is to reach higher.
This exercise increases the flexibility of your arms, chest, and shoulders, and will help you reach items on the upper shelves of your closet or kitchen cabinet.
  1. Stand facing a wall slightly farther than arm's length from the wall, feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lean your body forward and put your palms flat against the wall at shoulder height and shoulder-width apart.
  3. Keeping your back straight, slowly walk your hands up the wall until your arms are above your head.
  4. Hold your arms overhead for about 10-30 seconds.
  5. Slowly walk your hands back down.
  6. Repeat at least 3-5 times.

Safety

  • Avoid “locking” your joints. Straighten your arms and legs when you stretch them, but don’t hold them tightly in a straight position. Always keep them slightly bent while stretching.
  • Always stretch with a smooth, steady movement. Don’t jerk or bounce into the stretch; it may cause injury.
  • A mild pulling feeling while you are stretching is normal. If you feel sharp or stabbing pain or joint pain, you’re stretching too far. Reduce the stretch so it doesn’t hurt.
  • Always remember to breathe normally while holding a stretch.
  • Always warm up before stretching exercises. Stretching your muscles before they are warmed up can result in injury. If you are doing only stretching exercises, warm up with a few minutes of easy walking first. If you are doing endurance or strength exercises, stretch after, not before.
  • If you’ve had hip or back surgery, talk with your doctor before doing lower-back flexibility exercises.