A lot of people think of weight lifting as being good for strength and stretching as being good for agility, but in reality you’ll get the best results when you realize that the two go hand in hand. Every bit of strength training work that you do tears at the muscles and the stretching helps the blood to flow back into the muscles to help repair them, which is how they get bigger and stronger. Stretch your upper body after a killer weight lifting session and you’ll likely find that it not only helps you feel less sore and tight the next day, it also helps the appearance of your toned muscles.
Loosen up those tight shoulders by stretching your arms behind you and getting a deep stretch along your upper back, behind your shoulder blades and between your shoulders. Hold a pole or a door jam with your arm stretched out and then rotate away so your arm is extended behind you and you’re facing forward. Start slowly, and as the muscles loosen feel free to lean forward a bit to deepen the stretch.
Chin up Bar Stretch
Chin ups are a terrific way to build muscle in the biceps, chest and back. But the same bar you use for this classic exercise is also super useful for stretching as well. This stretch couldn’t be more simple; grab the chin up bar and lift your feet off the floor. Instead of lifting yourself up into a chin up though, just hang from the bar for as long as you can. This will stretch not only your arms but your entire upper torso including those tough to reach side muscles.
You see athletes do this classic tricep stretch all the time and that’s because your arms truly aren’t loose until those pesky triceps are stretched as well. Lift your arm straight up over your head and bend it at the elbow, pointing your hand down behind your head. Grab your elbow with your other hand and pull it to the side, stretching your tricep.