Here is how to open up the sides of the body. This exercise stretches
the intercostal muscles, which go between each rib, the latissimus
muscles, the external obliques, and the triceps. First, stand with
your feet double shoulder width wide, with your hips level. Raise
your left arm, and bring it next to your ear. Do not strain. If
it does not straighten, continue on with the stretch and work to
get the arm straight over time. Do not lift your shoulders, keep
them level. Only the arm lifts.
Now, slowly bend
to your right, as in the picture below. If you cannot support your
upper body with your trunk muscles, use your lower hand on the outside
of the leg to help, as demonstrated below. It appears in the picture
that the hips are not level, however, they are: my shirt is covering
over the right hip.
After you stretch one side for several
moments (the length of time is up to your ability and comfort level),
shift and stretch the other side, as shown below. In the picture
on the right, the stretch is shown with no support from the lower
The below pictures show the side views
of the stretch. Both of these pictures show the incorrect
way. Do not lean back or forward as in the
Below is the correct
view from the side of this exercise. Note how
the body is aligned from the side.
is possible to injure onself in any physical activity. Consult
your physician if in doubt about your physical condition
before embarking on a stretching program. The author of
howtostretch.com accepts no liability for any injuries sustained
while practicing any of the stretches described within.