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Side Stretches

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 arm.


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 pictures below.


Below is the correct view from the side of this exercise. Note how the body is aligned from the side.

Disclaimer

It 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.

 

 

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