Stretch Exercises for the Upper Body

Stretch exercises for the upper body will allow you to stretch the following muscle groups:

  • Neck (Trapezius)
  • Shoulders (Deltoids)
  • Chest (Pectorals)
  • Abs (Abdominals)
  • Back (Lats, Lower Back)
  • Arms (Biceps, Triceps, Forearms)

Browse through the selection of stretch exercises for the upper body below:

Neck #1 - Head Tilt Forward

Neck #1 - Head Tilt Forward
  • Stand up with your back straight and tilt your head down towards your chest.

  • Tilt your head back to its starting position after a short pause.

  • Be careful not to tilt your head back too far.

Neck #2 - Head Tilt Sideways

Neck #2 - Head Tilt Sideways
  • Stand up with your back straight and tilt your head sideways towards your left shoulder.

  • Tilt your head back towards its starting position but continue on to the right shoulder.

  • Chain together these steps to accomplish fluid and smooth movements.

Neck #3 - Head Left-to-Right Rotation

Neck #3 - Head Left-to-Right Rotation
  • Stand up with your back straight and rotate your head to the left.

  • Rotate your head back and continue on to the right side.

  • Chain together these steps to accomplish fluid and smooth movements.

Shoulder #1 - Arm-in-Front Shoulder Stretch

Shoulder #1 - Arm-in-Front Shoulder Stretch
  • Stand up and grab your right elbow in front of your chest using your left hand.

  • Stretch by pulling your elbow towards your chest for several seconds and alternate sides when done.

  • This exercise will stretch your shoulder muscles.

Shoulder #2 - Upper-Arm-Up Shoulder Stretch

Shoulder #2 - Upper-Arm-Up Shoulder Stretch
  • Stand up and grab your right elbow up on the side of your head using your left hand.

  • Stretch by pulling your elbow towards the back of your head and hold for several seconds before moving on the other side.

  • This exercise will stretch your shoulder and triceps muscles.

Shoulder #3 - Sideways Arms Swing

Shoulder #3 - Sideways Arms Swing
  • Stand up and extend your arms out to each side.

  • Swing your arms in and out while keeping them straight throughout.

  • This exercise will stretch your shoulders and chest muscles alternately.

Shoulder #4 - Arms Behind Back Reach

Shoulder #4 - Arms Behind Back Reach
  • Stand up, put your left hand behind your back over your left shoulder and your right hand behind your back against your lower back.

  • Stretch by moving your hands towards each other, holding on to one another if you can and hold the stretch for several seconds.

  • This exercise will mainly stretch your shoulder muscles.

Shoulder #5 - Shoulder Stretch (Ball)

Shoulder #5 - Shoulder Stretch (Ball)
  • Crouch down on the floor on your right knee and your left foot, exercise ball in front of you and your right hand lying across the exercise ball.

  • Stretch by applying weight down onto your shoulder and alternate sides after several seconds.

  • This exercise will stretch the muscles located in your shoulders.

Shoulder #6 - Kneeling Twist (Ball)

Shoulder #6 - Kneeling Twist (Ball)
  • Lie down on your knees on the floor, ball in front of you with your hands on top of it, arms fully extended.

  • Stretch by rolling your upper body down to one side while keeping your hands on the exercise ball.

  • This exercise will stretch your back shoulder muscles.

Shoulder #7 - Shoulder Chest and Hips Stretch (Ball)

Shoulder #7 - Shoulder Chest and Hips Stretch (Ball)
  • Lie down on your left knee, your right leg fully extended out back and place your hands on top of the exercise ball in front of you.

  • Stretch by pushing yourself down while keeping your hands on top of the exercise ball. Alternate sides after several seconds.

  • This exercise will stretch your shoulder muscles as well as the muscles located in your thighs.

Chest #1 - Chest Stretch (Ball)

Chest #1 - Chest Stretch (Ball)
  • Stand in front of a wall and hold the exercise ball with your left hand up high.

  • Stretch by extending your body and pulling yourself down towards the wall.

  • This exercise will stretch your chest muscles primarily.

Abs #1 - Back Roll (Ball)

Abs #1 - Back Roll (Ball)
  • Lie on your back on the exercise ball.

  • Stretch by extending your arms and legs fully.

  • This exercise stretches your abdominal muscles as well as your chest muscles.

Back #1 - Trunk Rotation

Back #1 - Trunk Rotation
  • Stand up and position your hands on each side of your hips, elbows slightly bent.

  • Rotate your trunk to your left, then rotate it all the way to your right in one smooth motion. Repeat this a few times.

  • This exercise will stretch your back, chest and abdominal muscles.

Back #2 - Arm Up Upper Body Sideways Stretch

Back #2 - Arm Up Upper Body Sideways Stretch
  • Stand up and raise your right arm straight up.

  • Titl your upper body at the hips to your left in order to stretch the entire right side of your body. Alternate sides when done.

  • This exercise stretches your back and your abdominal muscles.

Back #3 - Lower Back Stretch (Sitting)

Back #3 - Lower Back Stretch (Sitting)
  • Sit down on the floor, back straight, legs in front of you wide from each other with your knees bent in front of your chest.

  • Stretch by tilting your upper body forward.

  • This exercise will stretch your lower back.

Back #4 - Trunk Rotation (Sitting)

Back #4 - Trunk Rotation (Sitting)
  • Sit down on the floor, legs straight, away from each other.

  • Stretch by rotating your upper body to one side then to the other.

  • This exercise will stretch your back muscles.

Back #5 - Upper Body Side Stretch (Sitting)

Back #5 - Upper Body Side Stretch (Sitting)
  • Sit down on the floor, left leg extended to its side, right leg folded in front of you.

  • Stretch by raising your arms straight up and tilting your upper body towards your left leg. Alternate sides.

  • This exercise stretches the muscles located in your legs and in your back.

Back #6 - Full Body Stretch (Lying on Back)

Back #6 - Full Body Stretch (Lying on Back)
  • Lie on your back on the floor and extend your legs down and your arms up.

  • Stretch by trying to make yourself taller, by pulling/pushing your feet and hands away from each other.

  • This exercise stretches your entire body.

Back #7 - Hip Twist Stretch (Lying on Back)

Back #7 - Hip Twist Stretch (Lying on Back)
  • Lie on your back on the floor and cross your right leg all the way over your left, both fully extended.

  • Stretch by rotating your upper body as far as you can by pushing your leg as far as you can. Alternate sides when done.

  • This exercise will stretch the muscles located in your back and your hips.

Back #8 - Ball Roll (Lying on Back)

Back #8 - Ball Roll (Lying on Back)
  • Lie on your back on the floor, thighs propped up over your chest, knees bent.

  • Stretch by pulling on the back of your thighs with your hands.

  • This exercise stretches your buttocks, lower back and hamstrings.

Back #9 - Side Lying Stretch (Ball)

Back #9 - Side Lying Stretch (Ball)
  • Lie with your left side on the exercise ball, right leg extended out to maintain balance.

  • Stretch by extending your right side fully and alternate sides when completed.

  • This exercise stretches your back, abdominal and chest muscles.