With the word of the month being Passion; and, knowing that generally passion is an expression of the heart, I felt like it would be a great time to focus on heart openers, or chest stretches.
At the Dailey Method, we know from experience and research how important it is to find balance in our bodies. In general, from our daily postures our back muscles tend to be weak and our chest muscles tight. This combination can negatively affect our posture, our back health and the confidence we project. In a Dailey Method class we make sure to give you a good balance of back work and chest stretches. However, doing a few additional on your own can make all the difference. Especially if you like to use your phone or computer a lot!
Single arm wall stretch:
Stand with your side to a wall and put your hand flat on the wall, fingers spread wide. Turn your focus towards the center of the room to increase the stretch. You can place your hand at shoulder height or a few inches above or below shoulder height to lengthen different fibers of the pectoralis muscles.
Spine extension with chest opening:
Double benefit of working the extensors of your entire spine to create back body strength and chest flexibility. If you can’t keep your palms together it’s okay to just clasp your fingers. Try to reverse your grip ½ of the time and keep your focus on the ground to maintain length in your cervical spine.
Kate Winslet stretch:
No wonder she had such great posture! This is my all-time favorite. You can use a counter if you’re not fortunate enough to have your own barre. Maintain your hands wider than hips, roll your chest open and lean your heart forward.
Try to incorporate these simple, effective stretches into your self-care on a regular basis. Notice how you will feel more open with a little consistency.
Now you have even more reason to lead with your heart!