You can treat functional chest pain with targeted exercises. The aim is to release tightness to help your thoracic spine regain mobility. But that alone isn’t enough – that’s why, with the exercises below, we get down to the root cause of the pain in your chest. You can achieve your goal by working on your posture. To help you succeed against chest pain, we recommend doing your training plan four to five times per week, keeping your movements clean and slow.

Myofascial self-massage for chest pain

Myofascial release techniques can help you release tightness in your chest area, which relaxes your chest muscles.

Ribcage massage: relaxes your chest muscles

Place the BLACKROLL® MED on the floor and lie on it with the side of your ribcage. Support your body using your forearm. Slowly roll along your flanks. While rolling, turn your upper body forward and backward to work your whole ribcage.

Time: one to two minutes

Sets: one

Tip: if the pressure from the ribcage massage is too much for you, then you can do this exercise while standing against a wall instead.

Chest fascia training: relieves tender spots between your shoulder blades

Stand with your back to the wall. Place the BLACKROLL® BALL 08 to the side of your spine, on a line with the bottom of your shoulder blade. Roll up along the area between your spine and your shoulder blade, until you get to the junction between your shoulder and neck. You can do this by bending and stretching your legs. If you feel a tender point, stay there for around 15 seconds. Relax your muscles there and let yourself sink deeply into the Ball. Work both sides of your spine.

Time: one to two minutes

Sets: one

Tip: is it hard for you to relax the muscles near tender points? It can help if you tense the muscles for about two seconds and release them again. Repeat until your muscles feel looser.

Ribcage massage: relaxes your chest muscles

Stand with your stomach against a wall. Hold BALL 08 between the BLOCK on the wall and your chest. Work all of your chest muscles by moving up and down, and side to side. Raise and lower your arms to mobilize the tissue under the ball.

Time: one to two minutes

Sets: one

Tip: you can also do this exercise for chest pain while sitting down, using a BLACKROLL® BLOCK. But if you do it this way, your chest muscles will tense up again as a result of the pulling action.

Chest fascia training: loosens up your chest muscles

Place the TWISTER on a tender spot of your chest muscles and let the knobs sink into your tissue for about five seconds. Make slow, circular movements with even pressure, alternating in both directions and making sure that your tissue under the TWISTER twists along with it. At the end point of each circle, hold for about five seconds.

Repetitions: three to five turns per tender spot

Sets: one

Tip: you can deepen the stretch in your ribcage during the twist by moving the arm of that side outward and back each time.

Mobilization and stretching exercises for chest pain

Mobilization exercises using BLACKROLL® products help you take the next step toward greater mobility. At the same time, they also help ease myofascial tension even more.

Chest stretching exercises: mobilizes your thoracic spine

Lie on your side on the floor. Stretch out the lower leg and place the top knee onto the BLACKROLL® at a 90-degree angle. Stretch both arms straight out in front of you. Move the top arm over your head to the opposite side. Your gaze should follow the movement. With both hands spread out at a 90-degree angle from your body, hold this position for about five seconds. Then return the arm that’s above your head to the starting position.

Repetitions: 10 per side

Sets: two

Tip: when doing this exercise for chest pain, try not to let your hand lose contact with the floor.

Chest muscle stretching exercise: opens up your chest

Lay the BLACKROLL® down on the floor and assume an all-fours position. Support your body with your hands on the roll. Move your head down toward the floor and push your buttocks backward. From here, let your head and ribcage sink down between your arms and feel the stretch.

Sets: four

Time: 15 seconds

Tip: do you have broad shoulders? Then the BLACKROLL® 45 might work better for you because your arms are further apart.

Activation and strengthening exercises for chest pain

When you’ve worked to tackle the symptoms of your chest tightness, you should work on your posture. That’s because your chest pain probably started from poor posture or muscle imbalances. With the following exercises, you’ll therefore train the muscles that tend to get weaker.

Chest pain exercise: activates your shoulder blades

Secure the MULTI BAND in front of you at hip height and hold one of the loops. With the leg from the same side, lower down onto the knee, placing it directly below your hip. Activate the muscles in your core and buttocks. Pull your elbows close to your body and draw back, which will work your shoulder blade toward your spine. Hold this last position for about three seconds.

Repetitions: eight to 12 per side

Sets: three

Tip: keep your shoulders low throughout this exercise for chest pain.

Shoulder blade push-ups: improves your posture

Assume a push-up position with your arms stretched. Tense the muscles of your core and your buttocks to form a straight line with your body. Let your upper body sink down. Keep your arms stretched. Next, push yourself up as far as you can go. Hold this position for a few seconds and start the movement again.

Repetitions: eight to 12 per side

Sets: three

Tip: if this chest pain exercise is too challenging for you, then you can place your hands on a raised object. The more angled your body is, the more challenging the exercise becomes.

These are the products we recommend for the chest pain exercises: