Bow and arrow stretch

Bow and arrow stretch

What you should feel?? When performed correctly, you will most likely feel a stretch at the back of the shoulders and in the thoracic spine. Remember that each person will feel this differently, and as long as your form is correct don’t be surprised if you don’t feel much. It is a mobility exercise to increase thoracic movement in a gentle fashion, therefore it probably wont feel like it is uncomfortable or overly “strong”.


  • Start in sidelying with knees tucked up to your chest and arms outstretched
  • Keeping knees together, pull the uppermost arm back past your body
  • Try and imitate pulling a bow and arrow back into firing position
  • Pinch your shoulder blades back and down and hold
  • Attempt to lower the uppermost shoulder down to the floor

Main muscles targeted:

  • Thoracic spine
  • Some of the upper lumbar spine
  • Shoulders

Main benefits:

A bow and arrow stretch is usually used to increase mobility at the thoracic spine without putting pressure on the joints with other weighted variations. It is a controlled exercise that gradually improves the mobility and movement of this area. Your pain and symptoms may diminish when you have repeatedly performed this over days or weeks. Thoracic stiffness is a common issue and this exercise is designed to address it.