11 Stretches to Relieve Neck and Shoulder Tension

© 11 Stretches to Relieve Neck and Shoulder Tension

By Olivia malik

A stiff neck and tight shoulders are very well-known issues for many of us. The good thing is that if this pain is caused by stress, bad sitting habits, or lack of activity, regular stretching can make a big difference and even give you permanent relief. The key word is regular. Consistency is the key to success.

1. Neck roll

This is a very gentle stretch used to release tension around your neck.

  • Roll a towel;
  • Place it at the base of your head;
  • Let your head fall back toward the floor and relax.
  • Stay in this position for about 10 minutes unless you feel any sort of pain.

2. Clasping neck stretch

This exercise provides a deep stretch for the back of your neck and your upper back.

  • Begin by sitting comfortably in a chair or on the floor;
  • Clasp your hands behind your head;
  • Gently pull your head down bringing the chin toward the chest;
  • Hold for 30-40 seconds, and then slowly return your head to the initial position and release your hands.

3. Lateral neck flexion stretch

This stretch targets the sides of your neck.

  • Begin by sitting comfortably on the floor or in a chair;
  • Place your right hand on the top of your head and gently pull it to your right;
  • Keep the back straight and shoulders relaxed;
  • Hold for 30-40 seconds and then slowly lift your head back to the initial position;
  • Repeat on the other side.

4. Upper trapezius stretch

This stretch involves both the neck and the shoulders.

  • Begin by putting the right arm behind you and grabbing it with your left hand;
  • Pull the hand gently toward your left foot;
  • Tilt your left ear toward your left shoulder;
  • Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the other side.

You can also do the same stretch by keeping your hands in front of you, this way you also get a good upper trapezius stretch, but from a slightly different angle.

5. Levator scapulae stretch

This stretch targets the side of the neck and the shoulders.

  • Begin by sitting on a chair and holding the chair from behind with one hand;
  • Tip your chin toward the chest and tip your ear toward your left shoulder;
  • Rotate your head 45° to the right and then to the left. You can put your other hand over your head to help, but don’t force it, all movements should be very gentle;
  • Hold on each side for 20-30 seconds and then change sides.

6. Thread the needle

This stretch releases the tension in the upper back and between the shoulder blades. All moves should be smooth and soft.

  • Begin by getting on your hands and knees;
  • Then slide the left arm with the palm up between your right arm and legs, rotating your body until your head touches the ground;
  • Hold for 30-40 seconds then repeat on the other side.

7. Shoulders roll

This movement releases tension around the shoulders.

  • Begin in a sitting or standing position, keep the back and neck straight;
  • Lift the shoulders up and then roll them back and down;
  • All movements should be smooth. Keep the chin tucked, making a double chin.

8. Cross-body arm stretch

This is a good stretch not only for your biceps but also for your shoulders.

  • Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart;
  • Cross your left arm across your chest;
  • Use your right hand to pull your left arm just above the elbow closer to your body;
  • Hold for 10-20 seconds and repeat on the other side.

9. Cow-face pose

This stretch targets multiple muscles, including the shoulders.

  • Begin by raising your left arm straight, then bend it, and bring it behind your head;
  • Bring your right hand behind your back, reach up, and grab your left hand;
  • Hold for 10 seconds, then release the hands, and repeat on the other side.

If you can’t reach the fingertips of the other hand, use a towel to help. Hold the towel with the hand that is above your head and grab it with the other hand, creating a gentle pull.

10. Straight-arm wall stretch

This stretch is great for tense shoulders.

  • Begin by placing your left arm against the wall, palm facing the wall or ceiling, however, you feel more comfortable;
  • Press the shoulder to the wall;
  • Slightly move the chest away from the wall, creating a gentle stretch;
  • Hold for 30-40 seconds and repeat on the other side.

11. Double anterior shoulder stretch

This is a very deep shoulder stretch.

  • Begin by standing up straight;
  • Clasp your hands behind your back;
  • Raise your arms up until you feel a stretch;
  • Hold for 30-40 seconds, repeat 3 times.
  • You may bend forward if you need a deeper stretch.

© 11 Stretches to Relieve Neck and Shoulder Tension
Readmore: https://medicaldailypress.blogspot.com/2021/06/11-stretches-to-relieve-neck-and.html

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