Standing Pec Stretch

Video Transcript:

The most common reason for a standing pec stretch is that when you sit for hours a day, for days, weeks, months and years, and you’re in a hunched, slouched posture, your shoulders start to roll forward.

In order to start to change your posture, you really need to start to focus on stretching some of these tight pectoral muscles. The best way to do this is really just using any wall.

What you want to do is that you want your arm slightly higher than horizontal, and then I’m going to rotate away. So again my pectoral muscle goes from essentially my chest and inserts into my shoulder to stretch that muscle. I need to separate the origin and insertion.

So I bring my arm back, keeping my shoulder back. My arm is higher than neutral and then I’m rotating my torso away from my shoulder and arm on the wall. You should definitely feel it pulling through your chest of pectoral muscles.

You’ll also most likely feel this in your biceps muscle, which is fine. But we really want to focus on our chest muscles.

You’re in the position with your arm above neutral on the wall next to you, and you’re going to rotate forward or away, and you hold that position for 20 or 30 seconds. Then you switch sides, and do the opposite side in the same way.

One thing to remember with this is that when you bring your arm back, and you are rotating your torso forward, you want to keep your shoulder back with that motion, so that it doesn’t come forwards.

You want to try to do each side minimum two times, better yet three times or three repetitions per side, holding each time for 20-30 seconds. Try to do the pectoral stretch on a daily basis. Any questions, please ask.

What is the Standing pec stretch?

This stretch is designed to stretch the pectoral muscles in the chest, allowing the chest to open up, and to allow the shoulders and upper back to move backwards into proper postural alignment.

Standing Pec Stretch Instructions:

  • Step 1

    To begin with, stand upright next to a wall.

  • Step 2

    Place your arm so that it is slightly above horizontal, with your palm facing the wall, as demonstrated in the video.

  • Step 3

    Next, rotate your torso away from the wall, while keeping your hand and arm firmly planted against the wall, stretching your pec on the side nearest the wall.

  • Step 4

    As you stretch, make sure to keep your shoulder back on the side closest to the wall, the side of the chest stretch, and don’t let your shoulder rotate forwards as you rotate your torso forwards.

  • Step 5

    Hold this position for 20-30 seconds.

  • Step 6

    Often, you will feel not only a pectoral stretch on that side, but also in your biceps on the same side, which is fine.

  • Step 7

    Repeat this 2-3 times per side, holding for 20-30 seconds each time.

  • Step 8

    The standing pec stretch should not be painful. You should be able to feel it stretching the muscles, but it should not be acutely painful. If it is, please stop, and we’ll look to modify it.

  • Step 9

    To further aid in bringing your posture and shoulders back, refer to the Wall Angel postural exercise video, and the YTW exercise video.

Read More About Standing Pec Stretch Below

In this video, you will learn how to stretch your pecs or pectorals using a standing pec stretch. This is a great static stretch for anyone who sits at a desk all day, but also for post workout, or to fix rounded shoulders. A good pec stretch is an essential part of posture stretches and posture correction exercises overall.

In the video, we review the origin and insertion of pectoralis major and pectoralis minor, which is roughly from the chest/sternum to the shoulder and biceps area. This is helpful to know for proper arm positioning.

When doing this pec stretch, it is important that the shoulder be stabilized back, so the stress is targeting your pectoral region, and excessive stress is not placed onto your shoulder and rotator cuff area.

As indicated in the video, hold for approximately 30 seconds, repeat two to three times per side. This is not a case of no pain no gain. You should feel your pectoral muscles stretching, but it should not be painful. If it is, please stop, and consider another way to target your chest muscles.

For further posture correction exercises and posture correction stretches, refer to our neck pain Toronto condition page here:

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