September 29, 2022
Author: Shelby
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  • Star Exercise of the Week: Doorway Pec Stretch

The chest, or pectoralis, muscles have a bad reputation for their natural tendency to become tight. 

When this tightness occurs, it can cause the shoulders to pull more forward, contributing to a forward, rounded posture. Unfortunately, this can lead to many problems, including shoulder and back pain. 

The good news… You can easily stretch these muscles! 

This week, we’ll be highlighting how to stretch the pecs in a doorway. It’s incredibly easy and convenient to do at home. 

Here we go!

Step 1: Stand Facing the Middle of Your Doorway:

  • Find a good doorway in your home that you know both arms will be able to easily reach. 
  • You’ll be standing in the middle of the doorway versus off to one side, so that both arms will be able to equally reach the frame.


Step 2: Raise the Arms and Rest Them Into the Door Frame:

  • Keeping the elbows bent at a 90-degree angle, raise both arms to the side and up. 
  • Position the forearms so that the palms are pointing towards the doorway, and the fingers are facing the ceiling (like a soccer or football goal post).    
  • Make sure you’re standing close enough into the doorway that the forearms can rest on the door frame.


Step 3: Lean Into the Doorway for a Stretch:

  • Step forward with one leg into a small lunge (either leg is fine)
  • Lean forward, into the doorway, until you feel a gentle stretch across the chest and the front of the shoulders (avoid allowing your head to move forward; keep a neutral head and neck position). 
  • Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds, rest, then repeat the stretch once more.

You’ve just stretched your pec muscles!

Your posture should feel nice and open now. Avoid the temptation to return to a hunched over position! This will only make the pecs tight again.

Remember when stretching, it’s normal for a stretch to be uncomfortable if the muscles are tight, but it shouldn’t be painful. This will help you gauge if you’re pushing too much.


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About the Author Shelby

Shelby Green is a Florida-licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), currently practicing at St. Anthony’s Resource Center Outpatient Rehabilitation in St. Petersburg, FL. Shelby received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of South Florida, followed by her DPT from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Shelby has 6 years clinical experience practicing in both the acute care and outpatient rehab settings. Specialties include orthopedics, with additional training in specific manual therapy techniques for pain management, as well as extensive training as a Certified Lymphedema Therapist.

Shelby is a Tampa, FL native, which is where she and her husband currently reside. Their favorite activities include spending time with family and anything outdoors, such as walking, bike riding, and going to the beach.

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