Starfish Stretch

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

The starfish stretch is a great, feel good stretch that is one of the simplest manoeuvres that can be performed on the foam roller.  It helps to reverse the sitting, head forward posture that many of us assume when sitting at a desk , day in, day out. It also gives a gentle hip flexor stretch and opens up the chest and pec muscles. Your thoracic spine and ribs also benefit. Starfish stretch is also very simple. Basically, lay on top and let gravity do the work!

starfish stretch

Set Up:

  • lay length wise on the roller,
  • head on one end, with a slight chin tuck, and buttocks at  the other end.

Steps:

  1. slowly move your arms out from the body to approximately 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions, if you think of the analogy of a clock face,
  2. slowly stretch legs out at approximately 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock if you use the same clock face analogy,
  3. lumbar spine will flatten towards the roller,
  4. breathe normally into the diaphragm,
  5. maintain this position for 30 second or longer.

close up star fish stretch

Tips:

  • you should feel a moderately strong but not uncomfortable stretch at the shoulders/chest/pecs area,
  • if it is uncomfortable, move arm(s) a little to find a more tolerable position.
  • do a hip flexor stretch afterwards to release your lumbar spine

Make It Harder:

  • bend your elbows and keeping them close to the floor, move both your arms slowly up in a semi−circle till they meet above your head and then slowly return- known as snow angels.