Pilates Workouts

If You Work From Home, This Series of Chest-Opening Exercises Will Change Your Life

Erin Bunch

Far too much of modern life is spent hunched over technology, and since our bodies didn't evolve to be forever in a slumped position, this doesn't feel, you know, super great. To counterbalance this repetitive, harmful, but ultimately unavoidable activity, it can be helpful to add specific chest-opening exercises into your workout routine. On the latest episode of Good MovesBrian Spencer of East River Pilates demos a workout specifically designed to include such exercises so as to help alleviate the aches and pains associated with daily hunching.

"Today we're going to be doing a series of stretches aimed at improving mid-back flexibility, relieving tension through the front of the shoulders and neck, and overall helping you with your posture and feeling like you can really get those shoulders nice and back," he says.

Spencer notes that it's helpful to think of the back, spine, and chest as a single unit when trying to figure out how to address tightness and tension in the upper body. For example, if you have trouble opening up your chest, you'll want to find relief through your mid-back, which will help alleviate the discomfort that comes from rounded posture.

While leading the series of stretches, Spencer offers helpful tips along these lines, so that you can improve mobility in one part of the body by stretching another. For example, he says, "Anytime we can add a little bit of mobility through the forearm, and through the wrist, it will also help us improve mobility in the shoulder joint."

He encourages taking the routine at your own pace so that you can linger in stretches that feel best for your body, and notes that you're likely to feel tighter in your dominant arm, aka the one you use to type and text, so you might want to dedicate a little extra TLC to your right or left side accordingly.

In short, if you feel like your body is permanently pretzeled, press play on the video above to loosen it up so you can maybe move once more like humans were meant to.

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