PecDiagramTight pectoral muscles can cause pain in your neck, shoulders, and back, so today we’re going to teach you a simple, easy stretch that feels amazing, can help limit these pains, and even potentially make your posture better!

This exercise definitely works best on a dense foam roll — you can come by and use one of ours at the clinic anytime — but it can also be done on a tightly rolled up blanket or something similar.

Lay your spine directly on top of the foam roll, and make sure you are fully and completely supported from your head all the way down your back to the tail bone throughout the exercise. Allow your shoulder blades to sink down around the foam roll. Lying on the foam roll like this will allow your shoulders and pectorals to stretch back into a more anatomically correct position and provide soft-tissue mobilization to structures in the back.

With arms bent and relaxed so gravity is doing the downward pulling, move your arms toward your head and back. The actual movement looks a lot like making snow angels, but it is important that your elbows don’t touch the ground, unless the stretch is too intense to do without elbows touching the floor. When you find a tight area, you can stop and rest in that position for 30 seconds, but be careful not to overstretch. The maximum intensity of the stretch, on a scale of 1-10, should be about a 7.