Flexibility - Upper Body

 

PECTORAL STRETCH

Purpose

To stretch pectorals.

Position

Stand erect in doorway with arms raised 45 degrees , elbows bent, and hands grasping doorjambs; feet in front stride position.

Movement

Press forward on door frame, contracting the arms maximally for three seconds. Relax and shift weight forward on legs so muscles on front of shoulder joint and chest are stretched; hold.

Repeat with arms raised 90 degrees. Repeat with arms raised 135 degrees.

Note

Useful to prevent or correct round shoulders and sunken chest.

 

LATERAL TRUNK STRETCHER

Purpose

To stretch arm and trunk muscles.

Position

Sit on the floor.

Movement

Stretch left arm over head to right. Bend to right at waist, reaching as far to right as possible with left arm and as far as possible to the left with right arm; hold. Do not let trunk rotate. Repeat on opposite side.

For less stretch, overhead arm may be bent at elbow.

Note

This exercise can be done in the standing position but is less effective.

 

ARM STRETCHER

Purpose

To stretch arm and chest muscles.

Position

Cross arms and turn palms of hands together. Raise

arms overhead behind ears. Extend elbows.

Movement

Stretch as high as possible. Hold.

ARM PRETZEL

Purpose

To stretch lateral rotators of the shoulder.

Position

Stand or sit with elbows flexed at right angles, palms up.

Movement

Cross right arm over left; grasp right thumb with left hand and pull gently downward, causing right arm to rotate laterally. Stretch and hold. Reverse arm position and repeat on left arm.

 

TWO-HAND ANKLE WRAP

Purpose

To stretch the muscles of the arms, shoulders, back and legs.

Movement

Bend forward and place the arms between knees; bend knees and wrap arms around legs, attempting to touch fingers in front of ankles. Hold 10 seconds.

 

WAND STEP-THROUGH

Position

Stand; grasp wand with palms down, hands shoulder width apart.

Movement

(a) Bend forward and swing right leg around the outside of the right arm and over the wand (from front to back) into the "hole'' made by the arms and wand. (b) Slide the wand around the back of the body by bringing the left arm over the head; then slide the wand under the hips and (c) step over the wand (from back to front) with the left foot, stepping out of the "hole."

Note

Arms finish in a palms-up position. Do not release the wand at any time.

 

WRING THE DISHRAG

Position

Partners stand facing each other, holding opposite hands.

Movement

Number one starts with the left leg and number two starts with the right leg. Each lifts the leg over the near arm and steps into the middle of the ``hole'' (formed by the arms); turn back to back while swinging the opposite arms overhead; step out of the hole with the opposite legs and end facing each other, hands still grasped.

 

TRUNK MOTIONS

Purpose

To aid one-handed throwing and striking skills (for example, racket sports forehand, backhand, and serve; baseball throw, or discus and shot put); and/or two-handed throwing or striking skills (for example, batting a softball or executing a golf drive or hammer throw).

Position

Assume a position at the end of the backswing for any skill listed above. Partner grasps hand(s) and resists movement while the performer turns the trunk away from the partner, making a series of gentle bouncing movements, attempting to rotate the trunk as if performing the skill. Alternate roles with the partner.

Note

Avoid overstretching by too vigorous bouncing. If no partner is available, use a door frame for resistance or these sports actions can be practiced using elastic bands or inner tubes (attached to fixed objects) as resistance.

 

ARM & TRUNK MOTIONS

Purpose

To aid one-handed throwing and striking skills (for example, racket sports forehand, backhand, and serve; baseball throw, or discus and shot put); and/or two-handed throwing or striking skills (for example, batting a softball or executing a golf drive or hammer throw).

Position

Stand and swing the racket, club, bat, or arm with or without a weight on the implement or on the wrist. Start by swinging backward and forward rhythmically and continuously. Gradually increase the speed and vigor of the swing to finally resemble the actual skill.

Note

If a weight is added, swing easily to avoid torn muscles.