A word on stretches…
A stretch is designed to lengthen muscle tissue to allow for greater range of motion. In order to do this, the holds for a stretch need to be a minimum of 2 minutes. Holding for only 20-30 seconds will not get the job done.
Lacrosse Ball Thoracic Extension
Lying on your back with both of your feet bent and flat on the ground, place a double lacrosse ball between the shoulder blades. Bring both arms up overhead at the same time while breathing in, going as far as you can go comfortably without pain. Breathe out as you lower your arms back to your sides. Repeat for suggested time or reps. Roll the lacrosse ball down about an inch from starting position and repeat. Do this for a total of 3 spots.
Suggested program: Perform for 10 reps and then move lacrosse balls to a different spot. Start just below the neck and work down through shoulder blades. Repeat for a total of 4 different spots.
Overhead Lat Stretch
Start by getting next to a doorway or something that you can easily grasp overhead that is sturdy. Start with your painful shoulder, but doing both sides is probably a good idea. Put your hand about head height, drop your chest down while keeping your spine straight and then step back with the same leg that you are holding overhead. There should be a good stretch on the side/back of the
Suggested program: Hold for 2 minutes on each side.
Corner pec stretch
Start by standing at a corner of a wall or in a doorway. Place your arms on the wall with elbows bent at 90*. Take one step forward towards the corner or doorway. Bend your front knee until a stretch is felt along the front of your chest and shoulders. Hold for suggested time below.
*Note: you should not feel any numbness, tingling or pain with this stretch; if you do, take a small step back and don’t lean in so far into the stretch.
Suggested program: Hold for 2 minutes.