All day we are looking down at our computers and phones, slouched over a steering wheel, tensing up our shoulders after a stressful meeting, and basically screwing up our posture. All of these little things in life unfortunately play a big part in our postures and spinal health.
A big issue for most people is neck posture. For many this means their head pushes forward or slants downward at all times. This only gets worse with time since every day we continue to slouch over our technology.
These daily tasks are relatively unavoidable. It is good to focus on posture throughout the day as you perform these everyday jobs, but there are also several stretches and exercises you can do to counteract the slouching.
The reason these stretches are so important is exactly what I mentioned before, the posture issues are only going to get more extreme and more painful with time. So today is the perfect time to start loosening up those tight muscles in your neck.
Below I have listed 7 of my go-to neck stretches and exercises. These movements will help loosen up the muscles that have gotten tight from looking down and slouching so often. It is important to do these stretches everyday, especially if your job requires you to be on the phone, computer, or working with your hands quite often.
Look up and down
Do this movement slowly, focusing on looking as far up and as far down as you can. You are moving to your extremes, and it may be uncomfortable.
Look left and right
For this movement, again, you are moving in extremes. Keep the movement slow and focus on the full stretch.
Right ear to right shoulder
Lift your left arm straight up next to your left ear and reach your right hand over the top of your head towards your left ear. Using your right arm pull your head towards your right ear. At the same time slowly push your left arm down to the ground (imagine someone is pulling on your hand from the ground). Hold here, constantly pulling the right ear to the shoulder and the left hand down to the ground for 30 seconds. For a bonus stretch, tilt your chin down towards your right armpit for another 30 seconds.
Left ear to left shoulder
This is the same just on the other side. So this time you will be pulling your left ear to your left shoulder and pulling your right arm down to the ground.
Head forward and back
Start with your head in neutral position. Now reach your chin forward as far as you possibly can. Hold for a second and then push your head back as far as you can. Try to create an extreme double chin. Again, you should be moving in extremes and this should not be comfortable. This movement always makes me feel like a turtle, so use that for inspiration.
Roll your head in circles to the right and then to the left. Keep the rest of your body, including shoulders, relaxed. Nothing should be moving except your head.
Shoulder rolls back
Keep your head and neck completely relaxed. Roll your shoulders back slowly and repeat. Make this a big movement. You will feel both your shoulders and neck loosen up here.