1. Begin this stretch sitting or standing tall with your back and neck straight. 2. Gently take your arm across your chest using your other arm for support. 3. Be sure to lengthen the arm across as much as you can, and feel free to play around with the angle to get different fibres within the muscle. 4. Hold at a mild to moderate stretch. Taking 5 big deep breaths, inhaling through the nose, pause, and exhaling though the mouth. Close your eyes, relax your shoulders and focus on creating length throughout that arm. Especially during the exhale, use the other arm to take the stretch a little further. 5. Then switch arms and repeat.
The posterior deltoid aka rear delt is the muscle on the back cap of your shoulder. It is a strong transverse extensor and internally rotator of the shoulder. In other words, your posterior deltoid pulls your arm back behind you and rotates your shoulder. Just like when you shovel snow; you pull the shovel back behind you to scoop up the snow and then you throw it across your body or over your shoulder. Both actions involve your rear delts – your snow shoveling muscles! Enjoy this Canadian winter workout, by remembering to warm up with neck and shoulder rolls in both directions, and by finishing with this simple stretch and a big glass of water.
Arm Across Chest Stretch:
Variation: To increase the stretch further, rotate your wrist and point your thumb down to the ground.
Note: It is important to warm up the muscles prior to stretching them. This can be done by taking a warm shower, or by doing neck and shoulder rolls in both directions. Stretching is preferably done after exercise because your muscles are already warm and supple. Each stretch should be held for atleast 30 seconds and performed 3 times.
Move in and out of stretches carefully. All stretches should be PAIN FREE. If you feel pain during any of these stretches please STOP performing the stretch.