Get up and S-T-R-E-T-C-H

Much of your time spent at work is likely while sitting at a desk, hunched forward with head looking down at your keyboard or computer screen. This creates compression, tension, and imbalance between the chest and shoulder muscles and the back and neck muscles. That amounts to aches and pain that nobody has time for.

But you can’t work it all out with a few good stretches. You’ll want to open up the front and sides of your upper body to restore balance and feel good. You can do this easily and in very little time — and all you need is a door jam.

Today, my friend and colleague Dr. Brett Cardonick will share with you three simple stretches you can do at home, at work or anywhere a doorway is available — to release tension and pain in your chest, shoulders and sides.

Doorway shoulder & chest stretches

Stand next to and perpendicular to the frame of the doorway. Raise your right arm up as if waving, and with hand open, place it on the inside of the frame. This will make a 90-degree angle at the bend in your elbow and also between your triceps and ribs.

Now step forward with your left leg, leaving your right arm in place. This creates a nice stretch across your right deltoid (shoulder) and pecs (chest muscles). The further you step forward the deeper the stretch, so if it’s uncomfortable you should take a smaller step.

Hold this stretch, without moving, for 30-60 seconds. It is ok if your right hand tingles; that’s normal. Repeat the same stretch on the left side. Do a total of three sets on each side, either all on one side and switching or alternating.

Doorway biceps & shoulder stretches

Stand next to and perpendicular to the frame of the doorway. This time you will extend your arm out straight to the side, making you farther from the door. You will want your palm touching the door jam and your arm parallel to the floor, if possible.

Now step forward with your right foot (same foot as extended arm) to create a stretch. From here, slowly turn your body away from the door (in this case, to the left). You will feel this stretch in the biceps, shoulders and a bit into the chest as well.

Hold this stretch, unmoving, for 15-30 seconds. Relax then turn around and stretch the opposite arm. Three repetitions on each side is a good routine.

Doorway lat stretches

Stand next to and perpendicular to the frame of the doorway. For this stretch you will hold the door jam lower, again with palm touching the jam. From here, you will adjust yourself back a bit, facing the doorway, and leaning your body back. This will cause your butt to protrude a bit and your right arm to extend. You will need to firmly hold the door jam with your hand.

Adjust with small steps forward so that your body weight is going backward and it’s supported by your hand. Once you feel a nice and stable stretch you will shift your hips away from your arm (in this case, to the left). This will create a curve to your right side and stretch your lats and shoulder.

Relax your head and left arm, hold for 20-30 seconds, the bend your knees to release the stretch and stand up. You can do up to three repetitions on each side.

Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.