Head weight is about 7 to 10 percent of your body weight. A significant burden to wear on your shoulders all day. When you allow your spine to fold naturally, the neck easily copes with the load. But if your head is in an unnatural position for a long time, for example, when you are sitting on a bicycle, gravity starts to work against you.
The main culprit for neck and shoulder tension is poor posture, for example, when you are sitting in front of a computer screen or looking at the phone. So, whether you are an athlete or working at a table (even worse), there is a possibility that from time to time you have to experience pain.
Today we are going to share the most effective exercises to reduce neck and shoulder tension. doing the whole series two or three times a week, after a workout or mixed yoga practice. You can also choose the exercises that are most suitable for you and practice them daily.
Exercise “Owl’s neck”
What it does: stretches the muscle from the chest and collarbone behind the ear, which is called sternocleidomastoidus.
How to do it: sit straight, the spine is straight, the chest is open, the shoulders are relaxed, and the neck is in a neutral position. Slowly turn your head to the right until the chin is over your shoulder and parallel to the floor. Hold your pose, then tilt your chin down to your shoulder. You can carefully tighten the back of the head with your right hand to increase the stretch. Hold the pose for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
Exercise “Bending the neck sitting”
What it does: stretches the upper muscles of the trapezium around the neck
How to perform: in a sitting position, put your hands behind your back, interlock your fingers and point them (palms together and knuckles forward) in one direction, just above the femur. Slowly tilt your head in the same direction to facilitate stretching – you should feel the tension between your ear and shoulder – and hold for 30 seconds. Change the position of the hands in the other direction, tilt your head in this direction and repeat.
Exercise “Wings of an Eagle”
What it does: stretches the back of the shoulders (deltoid muscle) and neck
How to perform: sitting or standing, spread your arms to the sides and then cross them in front of you, placing the left elbow over the right. Bend your arms so that they point upwards, and if you have flexibility, wrap your wrists so that your palms join. If you cannot make full contact between your palms, place each hand on the opposite shoulder. Raise your elbows so that your shoulders are parallel to the floor to “aim” at the back of the shoulders. At the same time, pull your chin to your chest to “aim” at the back of your neck. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then repeat from the very beginning, putting your right hand on your left.
Sitting Mountain Exercise
What it does: stretches the muscles of the shoulders, upper back and armor
How to perform: Sit straight with an elongated spine, open chest and relaxed shoulders. Fold your fingers and raise your hands above your head with your palms to the sky. Keep your palms up to the sky to stretch your shoulders and upper back. Hold for ten seconds and focus on deep, slow breaths. Then exhale, leaning slightly towards the right side to stretch the left back muscle along the side of the body. Hold for a few seconds, inhale, returning to the center, and repeat on the other side. Keep swinging back and forth, deepening with each bend.
Exercise “Open chest”
What it does: stretches the front of the neck and muscles between the shoulder blades.
How to do it: sit with your legs crossed and straighten your legs with an extended spine, open chest and relaxed shoulders. Place your hands behind your head at the base of the skull and carefully tilt your head back, using your hands as a support. Bend your back slightly and imagine that your elbows are pulling you down.
Exercise Open Book
What it does: stretches the front of the shoulder, chest and oblique muscles
How to perform: Lie on your side, folding your knees and folding them at an angle of 90 degrees in the position of the embryo. Fold your fingers behind your neck, almost touching your elbows (“closed book” position). Turn the upper part of the elbow all over the body, as if on a hinge, and then slowly lower it to the ground on the other side. Breathe deeply and arch your breasts to the sky. Keep your knees on the ground and press them firmly. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side to get relieve from neck pain.
Shoulder Stretch Exercise
What it does: stretches the shoulder and chest
How to perform: lie on your stomach with straight legs and arms extended to the sides, palms to the floor. Turn your head to the right so that it rests on your left ear. The elbow is directed towards the sky and bent about 90 degrees. Bend your right leg at the knee, then lift it above your body, turning it and straightening your hips, pushing it away with your right hand. Let the weight of the raised leg provide stretching when it hangs to the ground (or touches the opposite side). Hold the tension for 30 seconds while you gradually plunge into the stretch. Return to the center, then repeat on the other side.
Exercise “Servant Pose”
What it does: stretches the chest and front of the shoulders.
How to perform: Sit straight with your spine stretched out and legs stretched out in front of you (if you have narrow hamstrings, sit as straight as possible). Place your palms on the ground right behind your hips with your fingers forward. Slowly pull your arms back, then bend your elbows and raise your chest. Lift the center of the hips and let the shoulder blades slide along the back. Hold this position for 30 seconds and do not forget to take slow deep breaths.
The Importance of Posture
These stretch marks will help relieve pain in the neck and shoulders, but the best solution is to first try to avoid tension. Avoid the “cringing of the neck” by lifting the phone higher before your eyes – or better yet, remove the phone and go outside!
If you sit at a desk most of the day, position the computer screen so that it is at eye level. Fold the boxes under the monitor, if necessary.
Be aware of your posture. Sit straight, fold your shoulders and keep your head centered in the neutral position of the spine. Good posture is too easy to forget, so every time you get up and return to your chair, sit consciously, with attention to the pose, instead of thinking thoughtlessly into what you were doing.