9 Easy Stretches for Shoulder and Neck Tension

straddle

Photo credit: huffingtonpost

6. Straddle

Stand with your feet wider than hip width. Bend both knees and shift your hips to the rear. Place your hands on your thighs with your fingers pointed forward. Drop your right shoulder towards the middle of your body, pressing your fingers into your thigh for leverage. Return to center, then drop your left shoulder. Keep your glutes tight for support. Alternate sides for one minute.

7. Chest Stretch

This will open the chest and decrease those rounded shoulders, while releasing all stiffness in the middle back.

Sitting near the edge of your chair, interlace your fingers behind you, palms facing your back. Lean forward slightly and lift your arms, resting them on the back of your chair. Inhale as you lift your chest. Exhale and relax your shoulders, pushing them away from your ears. If you cannot reach the top of the chair, grasp both sides of the chair back and pull forward, lifting and stretching the chest. Hold this position for 5 to 10 breaths.

 

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8. Neck Stretch

This is a good stretch for a stiff neck. You will really feel how it not only stretches, but lengthens the neck, making space between each of you vertebrae in your spine.

Sit upright in a chair but don’t let your back rest against the back of the chair. Sit with your head directly over your spine. Actually feel the top of your head lifting up towards the sky. You might even want to hold onto the sides of your chair seat with your left hand for support. Inhale deeply, then exhale and drop your right ear towards your right shoulder. Don’t let your left shoulder lift up and don’t turn your head, keep your face forward. Take several deep breaths and feel that stretch on the left side of your neck!  Repeat twice on both sides.

 

9. Shoulder and Back Release

v  Sit on the edge of your chair and put your feet about 2.5 feet apart. Lean forward and place your forearms on the inside of your thighs. Press your thighs out using your forearms. Breathe deeply in, then out, feeling the stretch in the inner part of your thighs.

v  Making sure that your knees are directly over your heels, and keeping your feet parallel to each other, slowly stretch your arms towards the floor. You should now be resting your ribcage on your thighs and your armpits should be near your knees. Cross your arms, and place your hands on your opposite elbows. Don’t stop breathing!

v  For a super deep back stretch, stretch out your arms forward towards either the floor or your des, and reach through your fingers. Really feel your spine lengthening. Round your back and very slowly, roll up and return to a sitting position.

Sources:

Huffingtonpost.com

Yogajournal.com

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