Your Gardening Fitness Program Week 3

Week 3: Stretch: Chest/Shoulder Stretch

Digging in your garden and pushing heavy lawn equipment can produce very tight chest and shoulder muscles. Tight chest and shoulder muscles can contribute to overstretched back muscles, produce poor posture and restrict movement. This stretch will loosen up these muscles and prepare them for work.

How To Perform Chest/Shoulder Stretch:

Stand next to a wall, post or large tree. With your elbow bent, place your forearm flat against this surface. Turn your entire body away from your arm until you feel a slight stretch in your chest and front portion of your shoulder. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds. Repeat this stretch on the other arm. Tip: This is an excellent stretch to do after the wall push-ups exercise. Also, try this stretch before and after gardening.

Exercise: Wall Push-Up 1: Preparing for many upcoming months of pushing that lawn mower will require building strong chest muscles. Here is an exercise to do just that!

How To Perform Wall Push-Up 1:

Stand 2 ft away from a wall with your feet together. Place the palms of your hands on the wall keeping your arms slightly below shoulder level.

Keeping your elbows facing out, lower your chest toward the wall. Keep your body in a straight line, using your stomach muscles to help you. Push away from the wall to return to starting position. Concentrate on using your chest muscles to do the work.

Do 2 sets of 8-10 repetitions. As the weeks progress you may find that you can increase your repetitions to 10-15.

Tip: To increase the difficulty of this exercise, stand farther away from the wall.

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