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Video: Upper body stretches for the workplaceBy Mayo Clinic staff
Standing or sitting for long periods of time can cause soreness in areas of the upper body. To prevent or reduce stiffness and pain, try these simple stretches.
To stretch the back of your shoulders, place one hand under your elbow. Lift your elbow and stretch it across your chest. Don't rotate your body as you stretch. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. You'll feel tension in the back of your shoulder. Relax and return to the starting position and repeat the stretch with the other arm.
To stretch the backs of your arms, lift one arm and bend it behind your head. Place your other hand on your bent elbow to help stretch your upper arm and shoulder. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Relax and return to the starting position and repeat the stretch with your other arm.
To stretch the muscles of your chest, squeeze your shoulder blades together. To get a better stretch, place your hands behind your head and pull your bent arms backward. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Relax and return to the starting position.
When you're stretching, keep it gentle. Breathe freely as you hold each stretch and be careful not to bounce. Expect to feel tension while you're stretching. If you feel pain, you've gone too far.
- Armiger P, et al. Stretching for Functional Flexibility. Philadelphia, Pa.: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2010:117.
- Krupa NL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 21, 2011.