9 BEST Upper Body Mobility Stretches For Peak Performance

9 BEST Upper Body Mobility Stretches

Want to boost your training and workout recovery? Try these upper body stretches designed to improve mobility, performance, and prevent injury.

Published: May 13, 2021

Topics: Strength & Conditioning, Training

Author: PJ Shirdan

Before any exercise routine, stretching is a great way to improve your mobility, performance, and lower the risk of possible injury. After training, whether it is a full-body workout or training in combat sports, a cool down is crucial to prevent soreness, have a better recovery post-training, and for your overall well-being.

In this article, we will discuss some of the best upper body stretches to get you to your peak performance, whether you’re working out at home or the gym. These tips are designed for the beginner to the most advanced fighter.

If you’ve ever wondered, what are some upper body stretches? Or how to stretch your chest and shoulders, in this video, FightCamp Trainer Coach PJ walks you through 9 of the best upper body stretches. These 9 upper body stretches will improve your flexibility and give you a better range of motion throughout your whole body.

Upper Body Mobility Stretching Routine

While stretching, focus on controlling your breathing while keeping good posture. Stand with your knees straight, but not locked, and keep your hips, spine, and neck in alignment.

Neck Pull (1 minute)

Coach PJ Doing a Neck Pull Stretch
  • Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and take your right hand and place it on top of your head

  • Slowly bend your neck to the right and stretch to a comfortable position

  • Hold for 30 seconds

  • Shake it out

  • Switch to your left side and repeat for 30 seconds

With these stretches, be sure to not pull or tug on your neck as the neck muscles can be aggravated easily.

Shoulder Stretch (1 minute)

Coach PJ Doing a Shoulder Stretch
  • Take your right arm and cross it over your body along your chest line

  • Bend your left arm and draw your right arm tight to your body, feeling the stretch in your right shoulder

  • Hold for 30 seconds

  • Switch arms and repeat

Tricep Stretch (1 minute)

Coach PJ Doing a Tricep Stretch

This stretch is excellent for loosening the tricep muscles.

  • Extend your right arm up over your head

  • Bend your right elbow and place your right hand on your back

  • Take your left hand and push down on your right elbow until you feel the triceps stretch

  • Hold for 30 seconds

  • Switch arms and repeat

Wrist Flexion (1 minute)

Coach PJ Doing a Wrist Flexion Stretch

To stretch the top of your forearm, the wrist flexion is a stretch that will give you more flexibility and loosen tight forearm muscles.

  • Extend your right arm out straight ahead with your palm facing outward

  • With your left hand, grab your right fingers and gently pull them back

  • Hold for 15 seconds, then rotate your right palm downward and hold for another 15 seconds

  • Switch arms and repeat

Downward Dog (30 seconds)

Coach PJ Doing a Downward Dog
  • Place your hands on the ground so that your body is in a 4-point stance with your feet about shoulder-width apart

  • Push down through your palms and bring your hips up toward the sky

  • Your head should be between your elbows, looking away toward your knees

  • Hold for 30 seconds

For an added calf stretch, alternate bending one knee while pressing your heel to the ground with the opposite foot.

Child's Pose (30 seconds)

Coach PJ Doing a Child's Pose
  • Drop down into a high plank position, bend your knees, and slowly sit back on your heels

  • Stretch your arms outward, placing your palms on the ground, and sink your body back into your hips

  • Hold for 30 seconds

Thoracic Rotation (1 minute)

Coach PJ Doing a Thoracic Rotation
  • From a kneeling position, place your right hand on the floor with the elbow straightened

  • Place your left hand on your head so your elbow is at 90 degrees

  • Rotate your left elbow towards your right arm on the ground, touching elbow to elbow

  • Twist slowly upward until the elbow that is on your head is pointed skyward

  • Slight pause at top rotation and repeat the rotation for 30 seconds

  • Switch arms and repeat

Upper Body Rotation (1 minute)

Coach PJ Doing an Upper Body Rotation
  • From a kneeling position, place your right hand on the floor with the elbow straightened

  • Cross your left arm underneath your body with your left shoulder and ear as close to the floor as possible, while bending your right elbow

  • You can choose to hold this stretch or you can rotate your left arm up reaching skyward and straightening your right arm

  • Pause slightly with your arm stretching high before returning to the cross position

  • Continue for 30 seconds

  • Switch arms and repeat

Chest Opener (30 seconds)

Coach PJ Doing a Chest Opener Stretch

This stretch is a combination of a chest and shoulder stretch.

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart

  • Interlock your fingers together behind your lower back

  • Slowly pull both arms down and then drive the shoulders up a little bit

  • Hold for 30 seconds, feeling the stretch through your shoulders and chest

  • Release and shake out arms

Benefits of Stretching

Incorporating mobility stretches and a proper warm-up into your routine have many benefits such as:

  • Increased flexibility and better range of motion

  • Lower risk of potential injury

  • Improved performance

  • Less pain and fatigue to muscles and joints

All athletes know that proper stretching, pre-and post-workout is essential for any training regimen. Incorporating warm-up stretches and cool-down stretches will ensure that your body can reach peak performance and recover faster without injury.

For more stretching routines and workouts, be sure to check out our other blog articles and our YouTube channel. Get started training with FightCamp today!

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FightCamp Trainer Coach PJ

PJ Shirdan is a FightCamp Founding Coach from the Philadelphia area. He found boxing as a way to heal and rebuild his life as he became a competitive fighter. PJ is a NASM, TRX, and USA Boxing Coach certified.

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