Chest Stretch Safety Tips: Warm-up & Precautions

chest exercise safety tips

“Use it or lose it” is a commonly used maxim; the most appropriate way to use it however is when talking about flexibility. Think of a long road trip. When you arrive at your destination, initially it is a bit difficult to get out of your vehicle  and stretch because your movements are awkward and stiff. However, once you are out, you will feel better and your normal mobility will return in a few moments. 

There are a lot of people who have to take long trips everyday for various purposes. Some have to travel due to work, while others need to commute to attend meetings. The long car journey affects their flexibility and may cause their body to suffer.  Having a flexible body is essential but due to our sedentary modern lifestyles our innate flexibility is compromised and we become far less flexible than our capacity. Hence, stretching should be an integral part of your routine and fitness. It is as important as resistance or cardiovascular training. Some of the benefits that you can gain from regular stretching include greater range of movement, reduced risk of injury, improved mobility, greater efficiency of movement and the positive feeling of being supple.

Along with the whole body, some people prefer to target a certain area of their body. Those who want to work on their chest area choose exercises that target their upper body. It has a lot of benefits such as improving your posture, preventing back pain and problems with your neck and spine. While these exercises have a lot of advantages, it is essential that you are well aware of the stretching protocols. 

Warm-Up

If you are new to chest stretching then initially it will get a bit difficult for you. Just like other physical activities your body will need time to adjust to the stretches you are performing. You will also be required to know the proper techniques in order to minimize the risk of getting injured. You can perform a chest stretch as a warm-up exercise before or after your workout session. A 5-10 minute stretching session will help you perform your exercise and it will also relieve the muscle pain. A thorough chest stretch warm-up includes various areas such as shoulders, back, arms, chest, etc.

There are various kinds of warm-up exercises that you can do before you begin your workout. Since each person has a different area to target, they make sure that they perform the warm-up stretch accordingly. For example, people who are interested in improving their upper-body strength or those who wish to improve their muscular endurance prefer the bench press but before that they have to perform a warm-up stretch. These people should go for dynamic or static stretching. Dynamic stretching requires you to move your muscles back and forth in a range of motion for around 15-30 times. Static stretching on the other hand requires you to hold your muscle in a range of motion for a certain amount of time. The time is usually between 30-60 seconds. You can click here to learn more about bench press. It will help them figure out the right techniques and correct their mistakes.

It will help them figure out the right techniques and correct their mistakes.

Precautions

Stretching may not be safe for everybody. It is significant that you know the right technique so that you do not harm yourself. If you are already injured then it is recommended that you consult your doctor before doing any sort of exercise or stretching. Standing chest stretch, partnered chest stretch, wide arm chest stretch, pointed elbows stretch chest and hands behind head stretch chest are some of the common chest stretches. Following are some of the safety precautions that will help you in performing a chest stretch:

Post-Workout

It is essential that you stretch after your workout as your body is at the ideal temperature. You will be thoroughly warmed up and stretching will give your body a good blood flow. Flexibility training can be given in isolated sessions; however, make sure that the body is warmed-up completely. 

Relax

Another factor that plays an important role in a chest stretch is to feel relaxed. Tension will disturb your range of movement and restrain your muscles from stretching in an effective manner. This will not let you attain maximum flexibility benefits. 

Breathing

It is essential that you keep breathing during the process. It will help you feel relaxed and ease muscular tension. This will allow your chest to stretch further. Holding your breath will tense your body and will make the stretching less effective.

Hold Your Stretch

To gain the maximum benefits, you are required to hold the stretch for around 30 seconds. Stretching each muscle for a few moments will bring no flexibility so it is essential that you hold it according to the prescribed time. It is essential that you maintain a correct posture so that your muscles are not stressed. 

Pain Less Stretching

Stretching should create a mild feeling of tension or tightness within the targeted muscle. The pain should not be more than a mild feeling of tension as excessive pain indicates injury or an overstretched muscle. It is recommended that you stop stretching if you are experiencing any pain that goes beyond comfortable tightness. 

Repeating Stretches

Repeating your stretches is essential to see the best results. Even a single stretch for each muscle is helpful but two stretches for every muscle with a gap of a 30-second break will help you increase your range of movement. 

Technique

One of the most important precautions you need to take is to make sure you’re following the right technique. If you’re doing it the wrong way, you may get yourself injured.

Final Thoughts

It is extremely important to stretch as it maintains your flexibility and keeps your muscles from becoming tight. There are multiple benefits of stretching and making it a part of your lifestyle will have several health benefits. A lot of people are of the opinion that stretching pre and post workout is important but even if you are not working out, it is essential that you stretch everyday. While you are stretching, make sure you do not hurt yourself or stretch excessively as it may cause an injury. Some professionals recommend stretching before your workout session, while others recommend doing it afterwards. Due to the presence of multiple opinions, it is recommended that you consult your doctor before making it a part of your routine.

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