Finding it uncomfortable to move your head or even your shoulders?
Maybe you’ve been sitting in your office chair hunched over your laptop for too long or maybe you just woke up one day to a stiff neck…
It feels like absolute torture right now, but with some proper stretches and care, you’ll be back to feeling normal in no time.
Here are 4 stretches for neck and shoulder tightness:
#1. Cat-cow pose
This is a popular yoga position where you begin on all fours on a mat (or rug if you don’t have one).
Position your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders.
Now inhale as you drop your stomach to the floor while extending your neck to look up at the sky.
Exhale and tuck your chin and round your spine as you look between your knees.
This dynamic exercise allows your shoulders and neck to move and release the tension they hold.
#2. Arm circles
This is a simple stretch that you might have instinctively done already.
But instead of rapidly swinging your arm like a mad man, keep it very slow and controlled. While moving your arm around, try to keep it parallel to your body, rather than at an angle out to the side.
Do this for one arm at a time, in both directions.
To make sure this stretch helps improve your neck and shoulder tightness, ensure you keep your body in proper posture the entire time.
#3. SCM stretch (Sternocleidomastoid muscle)
Bring your ear to your right shoulder slightly (not too far), now rotate your chin to face up and to the left. You should feel a stretch in your neck on the left side. Hold this for 30-seconds or as long as comfortable.
Now repeat on the other side.
Bring your left ear to your left shoulder slightly. Rotate your chin to face up and to the right. Hold.
Repeat on both sides.
#4. Side, back, and forward neck stretch
Gently bring your ear to your shoulder and hold it there. If you need an extra stretch, use the same side hand to add additional pressure.
Repeat this with the other side.
Now do this with your head forward and your head backwards.
This is a very simple stretch that you can do anywhere and at any time. Take breaks from work and spend a minute or two stretching your neck and correcting your posture. This simple exercise will reduce strain while working and allow you to feel more comfortable.