How to get rid of the strain in your neck and shoulders.
Try these simple moves in the office! (Photo: citalliance / www.123rf.com)
Do you often find yourself hunched over the table, leaning in towards the computer screen? That’s why you’re feeling the strain in the neck and shoulders.
To rid tightness in these areas, the key is to target the rhomboids and scapular muscles, says Claudel Kuek, pilates director of Powermoves Pilates in the Park and creator of the following exercises. The best part: You can do them without leaving your desk!
1. How to get rid of a stiff neck: Neck stretch
Sit upright on chair, with feet flat on ground. Gently tilt head sideways, keeping ear away from shoulder. Hold for 5 seconds while breathing normally; you should feel the stretch in both neck and upper back. Repeat on the other side. Do this a few more times until you feel more relaxed.
2. How to get rid of a stiff neck: Shoulder shrugs
Sit upright on chair, with feet flat on ground. Keep arms straight by sides. Inhale. As you exhale, sag shoulders downwards, away from ears and towards hips. Hold for 1 second. Inhale to release and shrug shoulders. Hold for 1 second. Repeat under shoulder muscles feel less tense.
3. How to get rid of a stiff neck: Arm exercise with band
Sit up tall and straight, with feet flat on ground. Hold resistance band loosely like a pole in front of you, with palms facing up and elbows tucked in. Keep shoulders and neck relaxed while pulling in belly towards spine. Breathe out and lengthen arms diagonally, reaching towards opposite sides of room as though you’re presenting a platter to someone. Keep elbows slightly bent, shoulders back, abdomen tight and neck relaxed at all times. Inhale as you return to starting position and exhale at platter position. Do this eight times.