Release Tension with Shoulder Neck Exercises
Are you feeling stressed or tension in your neck and surrounding areas from sitting in front of the computer, driving or from less than optimal posture? Our shoulders and neck carry this stress in the upper trapezius muscle and can cause neck pain, discomfort and even numbness and tingling down the arm. Neck tension can cause headaches and improper neck posture. Stress and tension on the neck muscles can cause muscle imbalances that can lead to neck discomfort and pain. Neck exercises especially with the shoulders can relieve neck tension and improve posture.
Shoulder neck exercises help to relieve neck tension by taking the pressure off the upper trapezius as well as stretching and strengthening the chest and mid back areas. The shoulder neck exercises help with the chest muscles by opening up the area when bringing the shoulders back just like the shoulder blade pinches. This neck exercise will correct your posture and avoid the forward head and rounded shoulders.
The shoulder neck exercises that I will describe to you are just variations of shoulder shrugs and shoulder blade pinches. You can do these neck exercises sitting or standing. I’ll describe the shoulder neck exercises standing. Begin by standing up tall with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, arms and shoulders relaxed, perform a chin tuck by bringing your chin towards the back of your neck, and look straight ahead.
Be sure to maintain your balance with these shoulder neck exercises. Each direction for these neck exercises will be in three movements – low, medium and high. Each incremental direction is a small movement that should not cause any pain. There are four directions going up, going down, going forward and going backwards that will be covered with the shoulder neck exercises.
Raising the Shoulders: (Going up, up, up)
Take a breath in and bring your shoulders just a bit higher than the starting position, then up half way towards your ears and then all the way up towards your ears. Hold 10 seconds while up towards your ears and breathe out. Return your shoulders half way back down, then a little more and then finally relax your shoulders. Repeat this neck exercise 10 times.
Dropping the Shoulders: (Going down, down, down)
Take a breath in and drop your shoulders down a bit towards the floor, then a little more and then try to reach towards the floor with your hands to bring your shoulders down even more. Breathe out and hold at the bottom for 10 seconds. Reverse the direction and repeat 10 times.
Forward Shoulders: (Caving in,in,in)
Take a breath in and bring your shoulders forward towards the wall a little bit, then a little more and then all the way so that your shoulders are in front of you. Hold this position for 10 seconds and breathe out. Reverse the direction to the starting position and repeat 10 times.
Backward Shoulders: (Opening up,up,up)
Take a breath in and bring your shoulders back towards the other wall a little bit, then some more and then all the way to open your chest. Hold this position for 10 seconds and breathe out. Reverse the directions to return to the starting position. Repeat for 10 times.
These shoulder neck exercises should help relieve neck tension when this is done a couple of times a day. Combine these with other neck exercises to feel the full benefits of stress release in the neck.