Rack Pec Stretch Overview
The rack pec stretch is a static stretching exercise used to alleviate tension in the chest.
Having tight pecs can result in a hunched over position, leaving the shoulders susceptible to injury. Improve your posture and ensure you’re ready for shoulder exercises by performing the rack pec stretch as part of your warm up.
Rack Pec Stretch Instructions
- In an upright position, setup in a squat rack with your elbow at 90 degrees and your feet in a split stance.
- Ensure the elbow is at (or slightly higher) than shoulder height and place your free hand on your ribcage to monitor spinal positioning.
- Slowly lean forward and increase the stretch on your pec.
- Hold for time, breaths, or repetitions and repeat on the opposite arm.
Rack Pec Stretch Tips
- Never stretch to the point of pain or discomfort which causes you to hold your breath. Holding the breath increases global tension and will only work against the effects of the stretch at hand.
- You should feel a stretch globally across the entire pec which originates at the sternum (breastbone) and inserts into the shoulder. If you’re just feeling a stretch in the front of the shoulder then you’re stretching the anterior capsule and increasing instability within the shoulder - STOP. Work on other movements such as a KB armbar, band dislocates, and soft tissue work with a lacrosse ball.
- Work to control the stretch using your breath - after you rock forward slightly, focus on breathing in that position and increasing the stretch on the pec by inflating the lungs. Focus on completing a set number of breaths and then slowly try to get deeper into the stretch before repeating the process.