Stretching is so important for easing tight muscles and sore spots, and the upper body is especially prone to this because we spend so much of the day sitting, crouched forwards, and yes slouching too! Even if you have good posture, most activities and sports all involve rounding the shoulders and leaning forwards- all the positions that stress the chest, neck and shoulders.

Try these 5 stretches to relieve the upper back, chest, neck and shoulders:

Stretches for the upper body 1. Seated chest stretch: Clasp your hands together behind your back and roll the shoulders backwards to open the chest and draw the shoulders backwards. This is excellent for reversing that common rounded shoulder position.

2. Twisted warrior stretch: This stretch opens the chest and upper shoulder, as well as stretching through the upper spine for a great spiral line stretch through the body. Repeat to both sides for a great spine and arm stretch.

3. Upper trapezius stretch: Placing one arm up behind your back and use the other hand to tilt your head to the side and downwards. This really gets in to the upper trapezius muscles that carry so much daily tension form sitting.

4. Thread the needle: From all fours, rotate one arm through the centre, dropping the shoulder down. This gets the back of the shoulder and upper back area for a really nice stretch.

5. Reverse childs pose: Sitting with your hips over your heels then clasp the hands behind you back and reach for the sky. This position allows you to bring the arms over aiming for your head to get deep into the shoulders and arms.

Why not combine these with my stretches for the lower back and hips for a full body stretch:

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