Upper Body Stretches and Exercises for Athletes
The upper body is often forgotten in many sports where athletes don’t throw or swing. The attention for most injuries usually goes to the lower body. It is essential to understand the power of upper body stretches and how they play a role in your overall athletic ability. The upper body is especially important in our current sitting and looking at a screen culture. When it comes to athletes that run and jump, the arms play a massive role in both movements. Upper body stretches will help to make sure your upper body moves with efficiency.
Spiral Line + Lat Stretch
- The stretch is great for athletes that do sports that involve twisting and throwing
- The full body stretch hits your back, arms, butt, and calves all at once
Arm Line Stretch
- Great for stretching the shoulders and upper back
- The forearms are often the most forgotten muscles for athletic performance
- Often grip will fail us before our strength does
- Take care of your forearms if you do any strength work or your sport requires grip
Tricep and Lat Stretch
- Stretch combines stretching the tricep and lats at the same time
- Important for throwing athletes
- Also important for athletes that lift a lot because the lats are large muscles that play a role in hip function
Chest and Shoulder Stretch
- It is crucial that you do this stretch with as flat as a palm as possible
- It stretches the entire arm line from the middle of your chest through to your hands
- Do this stretch at least once a day to help reverse some of the effects of sitting
- Another great stretch for the lats
- Try and move hands as far away from the body as possible
- Iso shoulder stretch
- Keep palm flat through the stretch
- Stretches the arm line from the neck and traps through to the hands
- One of the best ways to relieve neck and trap tension through stretching
Chest and Shoulder Stretch
- Thee stretches help to open up the chest and shoulder complex
- Great for throwing athletes that need the shoulder flexibility
Videos of Upper Body Stretches and Exercises
The following videos showcase three things that are often forgotten.
- Foam rolling the upper back
- Stretching out the Latissiumus Dorsi
- Stretching out the Forearms
All three of these things are important, but they are forgotten for other things by most athletes. When foam rolling most people roll their lower back, but forget to keep going higher. When you are foam rolling the upper back, it is so important that you move your arms into different positions as that changes the scapula position and opens up different muscles. The back makes up a large part of the body so if there is a lot of tension; it will affect how you do a lot of things.
The lats almost never get stretched by athletes. If you touch your ties by default, you also stretch a lot of your back but to get in a good latissimus dorsi stretch means being intentional about doing so. It is also a tough muscle to feel when it comes to being tight. The problem is that when it gets tight, it plays a huge role in your hip function.
Lastly, the forearms get destroyed all day and get very little care in return. They grab all the dumbbells they work while you are typing away on your computer. Now and then they need a massage and stretch. Remember that the limiting factor to lifting more weight sometimes is your grip.
Exercises for Shoulder Pain
- One of the best movements for people with shoulder pain
- Make sure you start with a comfortable weight
- Increase weight slowly with this
More Resources for Upper Body Stretches
There are a lot of different things you can do to improve your stretching. PNF stretching taps into the body mechanics that makes opposing (antagonist) muscles relax when the other is flexed. For example, if you stretch your bicep, flexing your tricep will force it to relax.
Another thing a lot of people never consider is how changing your diet can affect your tissue quality. If you muscles are being fed, low-quality foods, then they will perform at lower levels. Simple changes in what you eat can change everything for your muscle elasticity and performance.
Putting Your Upper Body Stretches into a Routine
You can only do so many stretches at one time. No one has two hours to spend stretching every day. The key to building a routine is going through them all and seeing which stretches feel the best and make an impact. The ones that are in the top your list should be done daily. The rest can be broken up into groups and done at least once a week.
What if The Upper Body Stretches Do Not Work?
Sometimes you can stretch all you want, but a muscle is tight because another area is not working or because it is protecting you. Sometimes you need the help of a sports medicine provider. Sports medicine providers are used to working with athletes that need to get results quickly, to get back on the field. If you are not an athlete, I am sure that you still want quick results.
There are many different options you can go with when looking for a provider. You could get a chiropractor, massage therapist, physical therapist or many other options. The key is finding someone you trust and that you are excited to work with.
How to Find The Best Healthcare Providers
9INE POINT Health is the best place to find the health care providers you need for any injuries. It does not matter where you are hurting; a 9INE POINT Health provider will be able to get you healthy again. 9INE POINT allows you to find the best local providers and compare them quickly using the 9INE POINT Number.
If you have no idea what you need, but you know you need something, 9INE POINT Health is an injury guide and you will get helped through the process. We make it easier for you to find the information and the person you are looking for.
KHO Health was acquired by was acquire by 9INE POINT in the summer of 2019 and is now referred to as 9INE POINT Health.