Wall slide

Many people have a tight chest and shoulders. This stretch helps to ease those muscle groups

Wall slide

Source: Best Health magazine, March/April 2012; Illustration: Kagan McLeod

‘This stretch is fantastic for the upper body,’ says Toronto-based certified kinesiologist Scott Tate, a spokesperson for the Ontario Kinesiology Association. Most of us have a tight chest and shoulders, and the wall slide will stretch those muscle groups. Activities that have us repeatedly leaning forward, such as running, biking and even sitting at a desk, make us slouch. This move will reset your posture, says Tate.


Stand against a wall so your tailbone, shoulder blades and head are all pressed against the wall. Hold your hands at shoulder level with your elbows bent at 45 degrees, and palms facing forward. Slowly extend your arms up the wall, pointing your hands as far up as they’ll go, not moving your tailbone, shoulder blades or head, and keeping them pressed against the wall. ‘Be slow and controlled, and try to reach as high as you can,’ says Tate. Return to the starting position slowly. You should take about five to 10 seconds to reach up, and another five to 10 seconds to bring your arms back down. Repeat from eight to 12 times (if you have shoulder issues, try three to five times). ‘It’s surprising how challenging it can be,’ says Tate. You’ll feel the stretch across your chest and shoulders, and up your back.

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2012 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!