Whether you have a job which requires hours of sitting at a desk, spend long periods driving a car, or you just walk with less-than-perfect posture, at some point you are most likely going to start experiencing discomfort in your neck and shoulders (if you haven't already). Fortunately, there are ways to reverse alleviate the discomfort and even prevent it from occurring in the first place. The easiest and cheapest first step is to get into the habit of stretching on a regular basis. Dedicating just a few minute a day to lengthening and relaxing the muscles in your shoulders, back and neck will play a major role in keeping your body healthy and pain free for a long time to come.
Perform each stretch for 30 seconds to one minute. Repeat the series three times.
Lunge With Chest Expansion
1. Step right foot forward and left foot back. Deeply bend front knee so it comes directly above the ankle. Clasp your hands behind your back and lift your chest.
2. Slowly fall forward over your right thigh, keeping your hands clasped behind your back. Maintain a neutral spine by keeping your gaze down toward the floor. Draw shoulder blades together and keep core engaged the entire time.
3. Hold position for 30 seconds to one minute on each side.
Straddle with Shoulder Opener
1. Stand with feet wider than hip-width. Deeply bend both knees and shift your hips back. Place hands on your thighs with fingers pointed inward.
2. Drop right shoulder to the midline of your body pressing into your thigh for leverage. Come back to center and drop left shoulder to the midline of your body. Maintain a strong core and keep glutes engaged the entire time for additional support.
3. Continue to alternate for 30 seconds to one minute.
1. Stand with feet wider than hip-width. Turn right toes out and left toes inward. Extend arms up to shoulder height.
2. Begin to shift torso forward over right leg until torso is parallel with the ground. Place hand above or below your knee. Extend left arm up toward the sky.
3. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute each side.
* You can always gaze at the floor to release all tension in the neck.