Her personal assistant, Rachel Tavel, is a Doctor of Physiotherapy (DPT) and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), so she knows how to get your body back on track when it gets out of whack. In this weekly series, she gives you tips on how to feel better, get stronger, and train smarter.
Whether you spend your days at the desk or on the go on the phone, the odds are good. Our body should not be in one position all day long. When you repeatedly put your body in the same position, you need to develop tight muscles that reflect that position and movement pattern.
Due to our fixation and trust in technology, strained pectorals are often the culprits. Most of us spend more than a decent part of their day using phones or laptops, which rounds off the shoulders, folds the upper back, and projects the head forward. In addition to the not so sexy attitude of the "tech neck", this can also contribute to tight chest muscles.
So, what exactly is going on? The pectoralis ("pec") major and minor are two of the largest muscles in the front of the chest. The pec major spreads from the sternum and part of the clavicle (clavicle) to the humerus. The pec minor lies below the pec major and spreads from three ribs up to the coracoid process of the scapula (the anterior part of the scapula). Stretching the chest is one of the best ways to fight tight chest muscles and open the shoulders.
Your Move : You would like to do two things regularly: First, stretch your pectoral muscles and secondly strengthen the muscles between your shoulder blades rhomboid and midfoot. This double stroke of stretching and strengthening helps open the front of your chest while strengthening the muscles of the shoulder girdle to maintain that more open position.
Start with a pec stretch on a foam roller if you have one. If you do not, you can check out this option in TriggerPoint.
Lie flat on your back, with the foam roller under your spine, knees bent, head and pelvis supported. Start with your arms in front of you, then slowly open them at your sides and form the letter "T" with your palms facing up to the ceiling. If you stretch without a roller, try a door extension by placing both forearms on the side of a standard door and slowly pushing your body through the room. Exhale deeply several times, stretching for at least 30 to 60 seconds. Complete a pec range with 2 to 3 rows of resilient rows with moderate resistance and a healthy dose of attitude awareness. The result: stronger shoulders and more open chest muscles.