Chest Opener

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Who doesn’t love a good chest opener exercise? Us humans have become very used to sedentary, seated work and lifestyles.. and us riders also spend a lot of time with our arms in front of us (sometimes slouching too), which creates overuse and tightness in the chest muscles (and perpetuates the forward shoulder posture!). Add this exercise into your daily routine, and feel the beauty of open shoulders!

This week’s feature mobility exercise targets the chest musculature, particularly the pectoralis complex.. A common culprit in that forward shoulder position a lot of us deal with!

All you need for this beauty is a foam roller (or a rolled up yoga mat or pillow), some floor space, and a few minutes.

Start with your spine aligned on the roller, with the base matching up with the base of your spine. Arms at your side, sweep them up to the middle position and hold here for 10-20seconds.. Breathing in and out through the stretch, before continuing into the last position. Sweep down and find yourself in the middle holding again… Repeat 10-15 times, breathing deeply and letting your chest open and shoulders drop.

Watch that you aren’t letting your shoulder shrug up, and take note of any restrictions or tight spots.. Spend a little more time there.

There should be no pain with this, only a stretching feeling! It is possible you may get some pops or cracks in the upper back from the position on the roller.

Work this into your daily routine for a refreshingly free feeling in your upper body!

Kathlyn Hossack

A long time equestrian, holder of a BSc. in Kinesiology, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, I specialise in helping riders (and all sorts of athletes) understand their bodies and improve their movement potential.

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