4 Best Chest Stretches For Reducing Tension in 2023

chest stretches
chest stretches

Looking back on our old Physical Education classes, stretching routines were part of the warm-up. Our teachers often emphasize their importance, so we won’t get injured during exercises. As children and teens, our bodies were naturally more flexible and more capable of the activities our teachers assigned. However, we can never be too careful to avoid injuries that will get us sent to the clinic.

That said, performing thorough chest stretches daily can significantly benefit your workout regimen. If you aren’t working out, daily stretches still have benefits that can keep you healthy. Particularly, the chest itself is a major muscle group so keeping it healthy affects your whole upper body. 

The chest is composed of 2 muscles, known as the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor. Most of the chest muscles are made up of the pectoralis major, which is commonly known as “pecs.” This muscle group is key if you want to build a lean and muscular physique. And practicing good chest stretches is one of the ways to accomplish this.


Benefits of Chest Stretches

Chest Stretches
Source: Pexels

While it was often done when we were in PE classes, it’s quite uncommonly done now. Once you become a working adult, you just wake up, prepare for work, and leave. 

Chest Stretches

When you get home after a long day, all you can think about is resting and relaxing. Proper, daily stretching exercises are the last thing on your mind. However, it’s more important now to strengthen your pecs, and here’s why:

1. Better Posture

A benefit of chest stretches is that it improves the mobility in your chest, shoulders, and upper back. Consequently, this can lead to having a better posture and greater range of motion. This can be a big help when you’ll be doing bench press exercises or push-ups. However, beyond that, those are also beneficial for your daily life, so you won’t always feel so stiff.

2. Reduced Risk of Injury

Having tight chest muscles can potentially lead to poor posture and the risk of injury. However, by regularly performing chest stretches, you can prevent that from happening. That’s because your chest muscles become healthier and more flexible.

3. Improved Athletic Performance

Having a greater range of motion in your chest and shoulders can help improve athletic performance. Hence, chest stretches can help athletes perform to the best of their abilities with upper body strength. However, even if you’re not an athlete, it’s still beneficial if you casually participate in runs or jogs.

4. Reduced Stress and Tension

If you don’t have enough time for a yoga session, chest stretches can help relieve stress too. It also helps relieve tension in your chest, shoulders, and upper back. This is beneficial for improving your overall well-being and promoting relaxation from life’s daily hassles.

4 Best Chest Stretches

After discussing the benefits of chest stretches, we’ve compiled a list of them with instructions. Most of them can be done at home, even with hardly any equipment available. Mostly, you’ll just need yourself and a wall or a door. When you think about it, the beauty of stretching exercises is how economical and flexible they are.

1. Kneeling Chest Opener Stretch

Chest Stretches
Source: Pexels

By being in a kneeling position with your arms overhead, you can stretch your chest, shoulder, and lats. However, please keep in mind not to overarch your lower back for a bigger stretch.

Here’s how you do this chest stretch:

  1. Use a chair or bench around the same height as your hip, and stand arm’s length away from it.
  2. The next step is to kneel with your toes resting on the ground.
  3. Then, place both arms on the bench and your head lowered down slightly between your arms.
  4. Finally, reach forward and feel your muscles stretch.

If you’re doing this statically, hold that position for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. However, if you’re doing it dynamically, move in and out of the stretch about 8-10 times. Keep in mind that each rep should only have short holds.

2. Classic Doorway Chest Stretch

Chest Stretches
Source: Trinity PT Omaha

This chest stretch is one of the best and most commonly known classics of its kind. It will open up and relax your chest muscles and anterior shoulder. This will allow you to have better posture and shoulder mobility. 

However, be mindful that your shoulder is in a vulnerable position here. That’s why you shouldn’t overstretch, or it will hurt your shoulder joint.

Here’s how you do this chest stretch:

  1. Stand tall with your side facing the doorway.
  2. Next, bend your elbow to a 90-degree angle and bring it up to shoulder height. Your hand should be up and facing forward.
  3. Then, place your upper arm and elbow against said doorway and lean forward. You’ll feel your chest muscles being stretched, but be careful not to overstretch them.

You can repeat this exercise on the other side after holding it for 30-60 seconds. If you want to do it dynamically, you can hold it for 5-10 seconds, and then release it momentarily. You repeat this process for several reps on each side.

3. Arms Backward Chest Stretch While Standing

Chest Stretches
Source: Pexels

This is one of the easiest and most effective chest stretches you can do. It stretches your anterior shoulder and biceps as well, so it’s a great stretch for your upper body. Keep in mind that putting your arm behind your back can be painful, but it’s normal for this stretch.

Here’s how you do this chest stretch:

  1. Stand up straight with your chest up and shoulders relaxed.
  2. Then, reach behind your back, using both arms, and try to hold your hands together.
  3. Make sure to straighten those elbows and puff out your chest to stretch.
  4. If you want to increase the intensity, raise your arms higher.

Hold this stretching position for 30-60 seconds if you’re doing it statically. However, if you’ll do it dynamically, hold it for 10 seconds before releasing, and repeat 3-5 times.

4. Open Arm Chest Stretch

Chest Stretches
Source: Pexels

This is one of the more common dynamic chest stretches. It helps open up and stretch your chest and have the anterior shoulder contract. This is great for getting your body ready for work ahead of the day. Feel free to open your arms up as far as you comfortably can.

Here’s how you do this chest stretch:

  1. First, stand up and position your arms at shoulder height in front of you, placing your palms together.
  2. Then, you move your arms apart horizontally, so you form the letter “T” with your arms. Remember not to do it too fast, but at the rhythm of your breathing.
  3. Feel the stretch open up your chest and return to your starting position. 
  4. Repeat the exercise between 10 to 20 times.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do chest stretches improve your posture?

Chest stretches can help you stand up straighter and keep your shoulders from sliding forward.

How long can I hold the chest stretch?

One can hold the chest stretch for up to 30 seconds.

is it okay for elderly people to do chest stretches?

Seniors and the elderly can benefit greatly from chest workouts by combining deep breathing with active motions of the shoulders, trunk and chest wall. This will enhance your upper chest’s and shoulders’ range of motion and flexibility while enhancing lung ventilation.


Morning stretches have been underrated, but they are more significant now, since the pandemic. People who were afflicted with COVID-19 and recovered all felt their lungs weaken. They had to catch their breaths more often when going on walks or climbing the stairs. However, doing chest stretches can help revive some strength back into your lungs and chest muscles.

The logic behind this is that chest stretches can help strengthen your respiratory muscles. It can assist in expanding your rib cage joints, which will boost your lung capacity. Stretching also requires proper breathing, which is another necessity to improve your lungs.

What’s more, is that the stretches above can all be done in the comfort of your home. You don’t need big equipment nor do they take a lot of time. That’s why we believe we’ve listed the best chest stretches in 2023. 

You May Also Like