The way I see it, different body parts influence a different reality.
We have two essential things that change us, number one how we use our bodies and two how we use our minds which leads to how we view our internal/ true selves. You’re probably saying what’s this got to do with an article on opening up the chest? There are three areas in our body that hold the most tension so if you strengthen these body parts and release the tension in them you get the best out of yourself mentally and physically.
The three areas are the chest, the trapezius and the glutes. The tension in the trapezius tends to arise from physical stress, resulting in tensing up and appearing anxious in front of others. The chest tends to be connected with our emotions about ourselves and how we relate to others. The glutes store tension from both the physical and emotional spheres but that’s an article for another day.
Chest opening usually requires the shoulders to be relaxed and rotated in a circular motion. The other muscle that really helps open up the chest and that can be worked synchronously is the tricep which gets its deepest stretch and utilisation from the maximum extension of the arm. The best stretches for the chest come from circular motions and fully extended arm positions.
My favourites are shoulder dislocates, arm rolls with locked arms close to a wall, the crucifix stretch and bridges with two arms, one arm or utilising a wall. The other exercise I love and rarely see done is hex bar deadlifts where each rep ends by standing tall at the end of the motion. If you do try this at the end of the motion hold your position momentarily, open the chest and pull your shoulder blades back. The heavier the weight the deeper and more intense the diaphragm will work which is very good as it helps to develop deep, powerful breathing.
The stretches mentioned above require more of a fluid, consistent and smoother breathing technique. Such a technique can be used outside of training in social and business situations.
Try these things out in your workouts and try to take what you learn and master about breathing patterns and apply them in your everyday life.