8 Targeted Areas of a Three-Sided Stretch

8 Targeted Areas of a Three-Sided Stretch


A three-sided stretch allows you to stretch over 20 muscles in your upper-body using a fluid motion. Start by interlacing your fingers of both hands and locking out your elbows so you have a triangle with corner points at your clasped hands and each shoulder.


The two places that are emphasized in a 3-sided stretch include the:

  1. Apex of the triangle, focused primarily on the corner point
  2. The opposing base of the apex. This is also focused primarily on the perpendicular project point, or the intersection point of the altitude line and opposing base of the apex.


Length of Time to Stretch

In a randomized, controlled study of “The Effect of Time on Static Stretch on the Flexibility of the Hamstring Muscles,” which was published in Physical Therapy, it was found that holding a stretch for 60 seconds has no significant increase in flexibility over holding a stretch for 30 seconds. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8066111


Muscle Groups That Can Be Stretched

  1. Forearm Flexors (Extensor Carpi, Flexor Carpi), Hands and Fingers (Lumbricals, Flexor Digiti Quintis Finger) Stretch

With the palms facing out, fingers interlaced of the two hands, elbows locked out and extended in front of you.

  1. Lower Pectoralis Major, Mid-Pectoralis Major, and Anterior Deltoid Stretch

Interlace fingers of the hands behind the back, palms facing your back. Lock out both elbows for a lower chest stretch. Slowly, raise your hands behind your back while keeping your elbows locked out. Make sure to keep the scapulae retracted and pressed down. Progress to hands at shoulder height behind the back.

  1. Latissimus Dorsi, Serratus Anterior, Rectus Abdominis, Internal Oblique, External Oblique, and Transversus Abdominis Stretch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS6ispxnVSc

With interlaced fingers above the head, palms facing the sky, press your hands as high as you can.

  1. Rhomboid stretch

With interlaced fingers in front of the body, press the hands as far forward as you can.

  1. Trapezius and Neck (Levator Scapulae, and Splenius Capitis) Stretch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_PbtXA0ROE

After interlacing the fingers behind the head, gently pull your head down toward your collar bone on either side of your neck. Slowly roll your head until your ear is beside your acromion process or top of the shoulder.

  1. Pectus Excavatum, Sternum area (Transverse Abdominus, Rectus Abdominus, Internal & External Oblique, Pectoralis Major) Stretch

Place both hands behind your head as if you were to sit back and relax. Push your hands back with your head while pulling your elbows as far behind you as possible, keeping both hands in contact with the head the whole time.

  1. Upper Chest Stretch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AewMrHOWSg

Place both hands behind your head as if you were to sit back and relax. Lower one hand, keeping the other behind the head. Gradually increasing the pressure, press your elbow into a wall to stretch a large area of your upper outside chest.



Use these stretches however is best for you. You might pick the two or three stretches for posture correction or to attain muscular balance. Or, you may complete them in series as a morning stretch session. Remember to hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds per muscle before moving to the next stretch.




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About Dale

Certified Personal Trainer specializing in posture correction, weight loss, and post-injury exercise for men and women aged 45+.I also coach cross-training for performers and extreme sport athletes, of all ages, including vocalists, musicians, dancers, actors, skateboarders, longboarders, surfers, and mountain climbers.Contact me today at dalesmidkiff@gmail.com for a free workout! I'm located at acac Downtown, and am available, by request, to train at Albemarle Square.