Workout Wednesday – Upper Body Stretches

Cancer

We know that it has been harder for people to stay active over these last several weeks. Christina Lombardi, DPT PT has put together easy stretches to get you moving at home! Each Wednesday for the next several weeks we will share these stretches with you. Each stretch includes descriptive information and a video to demonstrate how to do it. This week will be upper body stretches. Check back next Wednesday for leg stretches.


Cross-body Stretch

  • Muscles: Posterior shoulder capsule (deltoid)
  • Movement:
    • Sit or stand upright
    • Using one hand, gently pull your opposite arm across your body
      • You should feel this stretch in the back of your shoulder
    • Hold the stretch. Relax. Repeat.
    • Repeat on the other side
  • Recommended Guideline:
    • Begin with 2-3 sets, holding for 20-30 seconds
    • If that duration is too challenging, hold for about 5-10 seconds
  • Key Points:
    • Keep your back upright
    • Take nice deep breaths

Triceps Stretch

  • Muscles: Triceps muscles
  • Movement:
    • Sit or stand upright
    • Bend your arm back to touch the back of your shoulder
    • Use opposite hand to gently push your affected elbow back until a stretch is felt in the back of your arm        
    • Hold the stretch. Relax. Repeat
    • Repeat on the other side
  • Recommended Guideline:
    • Begin with 2-3 sets, holding for 20-30 seconds
    • If that duration is too challenging, then try 10 sets, holding for about 5-10 seconds
  • Key Points:
    • Keep your back upright
    • Take nice deep breaths

Pectoral Stretch (Field Goal)

  • Muscles: Pectoralis muscles (chest)
  • Movement:
    • While standing in a doorway, place your arms up on the door frame (You can do both arms or one arm)
      • Your arms should be at shoulder height with your elbows bent (about a 90 degree angle) 
    • Slowly lean forward in until a stretch is felt along the front of your chest/ shoulders
    • Hold the stretch. Relax. Repeat
  • Recommended Guideline:
    • Begin with 2-3 sets, holding for 20-30 seconds
    • If that duration is too challenging, then try 10 sets, holding for about 5-10 seconds
  • Key Points:
    • Keep your back upright
    • Take nice deep breaths

Upper Trapezius Stretch

  • Muscles: Upper trapezius 
  • Movement:
    • Sit in a chair in a good upright position
    • Version 1: Gently, bend your head bringing your ear towards your shoulder.
    • Version 2: Gently, bring your head to the side. With your hand, gently assist in bending towards your shoulder
    • Version 3: While sitting in a chair, hold the seat with one hand and place your other hand on your head to assist in bending your head to the side.  Bend your head towards the opposite side of the hand that is holding the chair seat. 
    • Hold the stretch. Relax. Repeat
  • Recommended Guideline:
    • Begin with 2-3 sets, holding for 20-30 seconds
    • If that duration is too challenging, then try 10 sets, holding for about 5-10 seconds
  • Key Points:
    • Keep your back upright
    • Take nice deep breaths

Disclaimer: You should discuss your health risks with your provider before starting any exercise program.


Christina graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology/Secondary Education from West Chester University. She continued her studies at Temple University in Physical Therapy, graduating with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy in May 2015. Christina began her career in outpatient physical therapy and has worked per diem in both the acute and rehabilitation care settings. She treats a variety of orthopedic and neurological diagnoses in her current role as a staff therapist for Good Shepherd Penn Partners. Recently, Christina developed an interest in Oncology. Last year, Christina’s dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer and her cousin with ovarian cancer. In addition, within the past year, a few of Christina’s friends have also been diagnosed with cancer. Because of her love for family and friends and her passion for physical activity and wellness, she realized that she could help touch so many lives. Christina joined the Oncology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association in May 2019 and is beginning to take continuing education courses to develop her clinical knowledge and expertise. She instructs indoor cycle classes and has her Level 1 CrossFit Certification. She enjoys  various forms of exercise and other health and wellness related activities and topics. 

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