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12 Stretches for Your Upper Body

I’m a bit clueless when it comes to body workouts: I don’t know what bits I am meant to be exercising, when or how. Although I do know I need to keep my muscles going if I want to keep my body healthy and in good condition. So this complete workout guide is just the thing I need to get me right on track. Starting here with the upper body, there are 6 areas you can give daily attention to in order to get those muscles loose and flexible, keeping tightness, aches, and cramps far away from your body.  

The benefits of having well-exercised muscles are massive. Stretches lengthen your muscles, giving you full access to their tremendously useful elasticity. Stretching will also improve blood flow to the muscles, increasing your physical capacities, lowering injury risks. If you do these exercises after you wake up in the morning or have taken a quick nap, it will wake you up and open up your lungs to give you space to take great healthy breaths of invigorating air. You will also sleep better than ever before and stand taller with improved posture. 

Tip: To make sure you reap these tremendous benefits, you might want to try the first exercise (stretch A) for each body area on one day, then on the next day try the second exercise (stretch B). Either you will find you prefer one stretch more than the other, or you will retain both, giving yourself a nice bit of variety to your routine. 
1. Neck
We have all suffered from a stiff neck, and know how much this can ruin your day. Most of the time our necks get into bad shape due a too motionless sleep. To combat this problem, try these two exercises after you wake up. 
body stretchesStretch A: Sit up and straighten your back. Put your right hand on your right shoulder. Then put your left hand on the right hand side of your head, and use your body’s weight to tilt it towards your left hand side. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then switch sides.
Stretch B: Sit up straight and try to give yourself a double chin by dropping your chin into your chest. Hold for 3 seconds and repeat 10 times. To increase the pressure, press two fingers into your tucked chin.

2. Shoulders
Your shoulders could be in a poor position: turned forward and tilting downwards, giving you tightness and lack of full mobility. Instead of asking for low quality massages from your partner, be proactive and try these 2 workouts.
body stretchesStretch A: Stand erect, squeezing your shoulder blades together, as hard as you think you can, for 3 seconds before letting go. Repeat this exercise 12 times.
Stretch B: Stand in the middle of a doorway and bend your right elbow 90 degrees with your palm forward and your fingers pointing up, then put your forearm on the doorway. With your left foot lean forward until you feel tightness in your pectoral. Hold this position for 10 seconds then switch to the other side. 
3. Triceps 
Unlike their mighty neighbors, the biceps, your triceps are relatively under used throughout the day and need a bit of activity to keep from becoming tight and uncomfortable. Here are two super stretches to bring the triceps back into play. 
body stretches
Stretch A: Lift your right arm above your head, bending it with the elbow. Put your left hand onto the right elbow. Then slowly pull your right elbow downwards and backwards until there is tension. Hold position for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side. 
Stretch B: Stretch your right arm at shoulder height across your chest. Put your left wrist on your right elbow, pulling your right arm to your body slowly. When you experience a bit of tension in your right triceps stop and hold position for 10 seconds. Repeat on your other side.
4. Forearms
Your forearms are extremely busy parts of your body, being the strength behind many of your hands' daily duties, so you need to make sure they are being used properly and efficiently. Give these top exercises a go.
body stretches
Stretch A: Move your arms in front of your chest, bending at the elbows, and cross your right arm in front of your left. Move your right wrist behind the left with your palms (or backs of hands) touching. Hold position for 10 seconds. Switch to the other side.
Stretch B: Get yourself down on all fours like a dog, with your hands under your shoulders and your hips above your knees. Turn your hands at their wrists one after the other until your fingers are facing your knees. Hold position for 30 seconds.
5. Wrists
As anyone with arthritis knows, your wrists are at the same time very delicate and necessary. So learn how to build them up with these great stretches. 
body stretches
Stretch A: Take your right hand, with the palm facing out. Turn your wrist back with your fingers pointing up. Spread out your fingers and softly pull back at your thumb, using your other hand. Hold position for a few seconds, then do each successive finger. Repeat this exercise with your left hand.
Stretch B: In prayer position, with your hands clasped over your chest move your hands slowly down from your chin to your waist. When you feel some stretch in your forearms and wrists hold position between 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat this exercise a few times.

6. Back
Both men and women can either wake up with pain or suddenly damage their back muscles at any time in life. But unfortunately this gets likelier as we get older. To try and stay on top of any possible back nightmares, or even uncomfortable twinges, try these two exercises. 
body stretches
Stretch A: Stand up and place your feet a small stride apart. Put your hands on your hips and lean back gently until you experience stretching in your lower back. Hold this position for 3 seconds and repeat 12 times. 
Stretch B: Lie down flat on your back with your knees bent upwards and somewhat apart. Then drop your knees to the right hand side and hold position for 10 seconds. Repeat on your left side. 
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