To many weight lifters, stretching often gets overlooked as one of the most crucial aspects of exercising. But, it’s an essential task to prevent muscle strain and other serious long term injuries. When doing strenuous workouts such as bench pressing, rows, and other lifts, a proper stretching routine will both build strength and reduce injury risk. Here are some of the best upper-body stretches.

Upper Pectoral Stretch

The upper pec stretch is one of the best ways to engage the chest before even picking up a weight. To do this, lay on your back, and hold your arms out to the side with your palms up. Then, bring your arms together straight up towards the sky. Hold this for about 20-30 seconds, and you should feel a stretch in your pectorals and biceps, warming them up before a workout.

Rotator Cuff Cross Stretch

This is a static stretch that many have been doing since childhood, but it is remarkably effective. For this stretch, take your right arm and bring it across your chest, and then cup it with your left arm and bring it closer to your chest. This will engage the tricep, pectorals and rotator cuff, and loosen them up before lifting.

Sleeper Stretch

The sleeper stretch works the shoulders, rotator cuffs, and upper arms. To do this, make an L, shape with your arm, with your hand in line with your ear. Then, while keeping your elbow stationary, bring your hand down towards your chest, and back up again. 20-30 seconds of this will create a real burn in the shoulders, and will prepare them for lifting.

At The Abs Company, we offer a variety of products such as the X3S Bench, TireFlip180, and SledMill, that allow users to get a phenomenal upper body workout. But, safety remains our top priority, which is why we strongly recommend a legitimate stretching routine before any sort of workout. By doing these stretches, you’ll greatly reduce your risk of injury, and highly increase the effectiveness of your workout!