If you spend your day staring at a computer, neck and shoulder exercises are exactly what you have been looking for to increase your flexibility and mobility.
If you are undergoing chronic stress, or if you find yourself constantly hunching over at your desk, then you probably go home stiff and sore at the end of the day.
If you let that accumulate over time, you could be causing serious damage to your neck and shoulders.
This area of our body takes on quite a bit of abuse and physical stress, which is why exercises are necessary to stretch, strengthen, and relax these tight muscles.
It is important to take care when using neck and shoulder exercises since this is a very delicate area of the body.
** Start out each exercise very slowly, and do not extend your muscles past the point of comfort. If you start to feel pain or strain, then scale back on your exercise and continue to move slowly.
The point is to get your muscles to loosen up very gradually. If you’re not flexible when you start, you will still see results by moving slowly through neck and shoulder exercises to improve your mobility.
** If your muscles are very stiff and sore, then you can also use heat therapy in the form of a heating pad, hot towel, or hot bath to loosen up your muscles before your neck and shoulder exercises.
• Head Turn:
1. Start this exercise by sitting comfortably on a chair with your back straight.
2. Keep your shoulders relaxed, and turn your head slowly to the right.
3. Try to bring your chin directly over your right shoulder.
4. Hold this motion for several counts, and return your head back to starting position.
5. Repeat the exercise on the other side for a total of 5 repetitions each side.
• Head Nod:
This choice in neck and shoulder exercises will help to greatly relieve tension in a tight neck.
1. Start by pushing your chin downward, trying to touch your chin to your chest without causing pain.
2. Pause in this motion, and then slowly lean your head back as far as you can without strain or injury.
3. Repeat this motion 5 times in total.
• Head Roll:
1. Begin by rolling your head in a clockwise motion in a slow circle for 3 circles total.
2. Repeat the same motion in a counterclockwise direction for 3 circles on each side.
• Shoulder Shrug:
1. Start the exercise by sitting straight up in a chair with your spine neutral and your arms at your sides.
2. Breathe in deeply as you shrug your shoulders up as high as you can, and exhale as you pull your shoulders down as far as you can.
3. Repeat this exercise 20 times twice per day until you can build up to 50 repetitions.
This choice in neck and shoulder exercises is simple to use while you are at work if you need a quick fix to relieve tension in your shoulders.
• Upper Back Stretch:
1. Sit upright on a chair with a neutral spine, and place your hands on your shoulders.
2. Cross your elbows by bringing your right arm to your left shoulder and your left arm to your right shoulder, until you begin to feel a stretch in your upper back.
3. Bring your arms back to your starting position, and repeat the exercise 10 times in total.
If you want to stop injury before it starts, it is important to use these exercises on a regular basis. If you have had surgery or a previous injury, it is important to check with your physician before trying any of the above exercises.
In addition to the use of these regular exercises, it helps to weight train your upper body in a strength training routine. This will give your body the opportunity to strengthen and condition the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Once your upper body is strengthened, it will greatly increase your mobility and reduce your risk of injury in your daily activities.
You can stop problems before they start by using all of the stretching exercises listed above!