Whether you sit at a desk all day, work for hours at a computer, and have experienced a past neck injury, you can benefit from these simple neck stretches! It will only take three to five minutes! So….you can’t use the “I don’t have the time” excuse. It’s also important to know that even though two of the three stretches don’t directly involve the neck (guess which ones), the muscles being stretched are attached to the neck itself!
Stretch 1: Neck Stretch
There are six ranges of motion of the neck. For best results, you should stretch your neck in all six ranges for 10-15 seconds, but if you are in a hurry, just stretch the ranges that are painful or tight! To begin, sit with good posture in your chair. Reach and hold the seat of the chair with your hands.
Neck Flexion (Chin to Chest) - Slowly begin to lower you neck down by lower your chin down to your check and hold for 10-15 seconds.
Neck Extension (Lean your head back) - Lower your head back as far as you can.
Right Lateral Flexion (Ear to Shoulder) – Lower your right ear towards your right shoulder.
Left Lateral Flexion (Ear to Shoulder) – Lower your left ear towards your left shoulder.
Right Rotation (Chin to Shoulder) - Slowly turn your head to the right. Your chin with be close to your right shoulder.
Left Rotation (Chin to Shoulder) – Slowly turn your head to the left. Your chin with be close to your left shoulder.
Stretch 2: Shoulder Shrugs
This particular stretch combines stretching with a common muscle relaxation technique called “Progressive Muscle Relaxation”. It’s really effective to relax the shoulders and neck!
Shrug your shoulders to your ears (as shown in the picture) and hold tightly for 2-3 seconds, still holding tightly rotate your shoulders back (you should feel a stretch in the pectoralis muscles or chest muscles) and then relax them down into normal position. Repeat for 10 repetitions for best results!
Stretch 3: Upper Back Stretch
This great stretch works on the neck and upper back muscles.
Stretch your arms out in front of you and rotate your hands until your palms face away from each other. You can put both of the back of your hand together or you can put your palms together, which ever is most comfortable. Then bend over at the upper back like you are diving off the diving board. Be sure and flex your head (chin to chest) at the same time!
Working every day to take a little stress out of your world…
To learn more about other good stretches to do at the office or home and the source of the images shown above, visit the website below located on About.com.