Four Stretches To Cure Stiff Neck And Shoulders

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New Delhi: Whether it’s checking your phone for Facebook notifications, working on a laptop, or watching Netflix on your tablet, you likely spend a great deal of your day looking down at some sort of technical device. When you glance down at your device, your weight follows the line of your gaze. Your head angles forward, putting strain on the upper back and causing your shoulders and thoracic spine to round forward to compensate.

This, in turn, displaces extra weight to your hips, which are then forced to compensate by lessening the curvature of your lower back. As one small movement leads to another, your entire body is found in misalignment, and, inevitably, pain ensues.

Elbow circles

Begin by placing your fingers on your collarbone. Bring your elbows forward until they touch in front of your chest while keeping your fingers on your collarbone. Start moving the elbows in a backward motion eventually bringing wrists together at the back of the neck while making circles with the elbows. After 5-10x, switch directions coming forward with the elbows. This will strengthen and activate the shoulder and upper back muscles.

Simple seated twist

Sitting in an easy pose with legs crossed, place the left hand on the right knee, twist the torso to the right while placing your right hand on the ground behind you. A glance towards the back of the room. Repeat on the other side.

Cat/cow pose

Starting in quadruped (table top) find your neutral spine and start slow. On an inhale, lift the chest and lift the gaze towards the ceiling while dropping the belly towards the mat. On an exhale, begin to press the ground away while rounding through the shoulders and the spine bringing your chin to your chest. Repeat the cat/cow movements 5-10x.

Forward fold variation

Plant your feet about hip-distance (2 fists width) apart, find a slight bend in your knees, shrug your shoulders towards your ears then roll your shoulders together and down your back. Interlace your fingers behind your back and hinging at your hips forward fold while extending your arms to the sky.

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