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Try This: Shoulder-opening stretch

Fitness

After a long hard day hunched over the computer, a good shoulder-opening stretch can help melt away muscle tension and create more space for your lungs to breathe deeply, thereby creating a more relaxed you.

Why you should try it

This pose looks simple — and it is — but it also is delivering a lot of benefits: It opens up your shoulders, stretches your hamstrings and decompresses your spine.

What to do

Stand with feet apart in a wide stance, arms at your sides. Grasping a yoga strap, belt or towel in your right hand, drop it over your right shoulder, keeping your elbow out to your side in an open posture, rather than hunching forward. With your left hand grasp the strap behind your back, walking your hand up on it as far as your flexibility will allow. Fold over and take five deep slow breaths, breathing into the shoulder or anywhere you feel the stretch. Rise up, keeping a flat back. Repeat the move on the other side.

How much

Take at least five breaths on each side before stretching the other shoulder.

health@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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