Stretch Exercises: Lower Cervical / Upper Thoracic Spine Stretch
Feeling some tightness along the lower part of your neck and upper back? Feel like you need to feel a “pop” or release some tension there? I’ll show you some stretch exercises that you can do to help relieve neck and upper back tension. The focus will be on the lower part of your neck and upper back. These stretch exercises will help loosen the muscles and keep your neck more flexible.
The lower cervical and upper thoracic spine stretch will focus on the muscles from the back of your head all the way to where your shoulder blades are. This stretch exercise will also help keep the spine mobile when stiff. This neck exercise you can do either sitting or standing. I’ll start you off when you are sitting for these stretch exercises.
Sit up tall, feet on the floor, shoulders in a relaxed position, your arms are by your side, perform a chin tuck, and have your eyes look straight ahead. Bring your hands in front of you and interlock your fingers together and have your palms touch each other. Keep your arms straight in front of you near your lap. This is your starting position.
Take a breath in. While breathing out, slowly bring your chin towards your chest and have your arms rise from your lap. Focus on spreading your shoulder blades away from each other. Have your arms be at angle close to 45 degrees, where your hands are pointing down towards the floor. Be sure to have your eyes focus on your outstretched hands. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Release the position and bring your head back up and arms back down to your lap. Repeat these stretch exercises three times.
You should start to feel a warm and stretching feeling along the back of your neck towards your shoulder blades. Readjust yourself if you are feeling pain. Slowly raise your head up to avoid any dizziness that may occur. Be sure not to hold your breath while doing this stretch exercise.
When doing these stretch exercises standing, be sure that your feet are shoulder width apart and that your knees have a slight bend to them. Perform everything the same as above. There should be no pain when you perform these neck exercises.