Sore and tense? Feeling achy after sitting at your computer all day? You're not alone. Many people struggle with upper back, neck, and shoulder pain, whether sustained during their computer-bound 9-to-5s or during exercise or other physical activity. Though these strains can be a pain in the neck – literally! – there are a few ways to find relief. Try these 3 stretches on for size!
Neck Side Bend and Rotation
This stretch is great for your neck and upper back.
• Stand or sit facing forward, and begin by tilting your neck to the right. You should feel the stretch through your neck to your trap muscle.
• After about 10 seconds, slowly roll your head in a counterclockwise direction. Pause for 10 seconds when you reach your left shoulder.
• Complete the rotation by ending where you started. Repeat these steps in a clockwise direction.
• Repeat this sequence 2-3 times.
Try the pec stretch for your upper back and shoulders.
• Step into the doorway and place your forearms on the doorframe. Make sure your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle.
• Let the weight of your body fall forward slightly so that you feel a stretch in your chest and shoulders.
• Hold for 10 seconds and release. Repeat 3 times.
The cat cow stretch will relieve tension in your mid and lower back.
• Start on all fours with your neck neutral.
• Your palms should be directly under your shoulders, and your knees should be directly under your hips.
• On your next inhale, tuck your pelvis and round out your mid-back. Draw your navel toward your spine and drop your head to relax your neck.
• After 3-5 seconds, exhale and return to a neutral spine position.
• Then turn your face toward the sky, allowing your back to sink toward the floor. Hold for 3-5 seconds.
• Repeat this sequence 5 times.
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