You neck bends into your computer screen every day. Your back aches at the top from the pressure to zoom in and hold your position for hours on end. So what are some easy neck exercises to alleviate pain or keep your neck loose and “long?” These are four of the best neck stretches at work that should get you started:
1. Upper Back Stretch
Sit up straight in a chair, grabbing the back corner of the chair on the side that’s being stretched. Then turn your head 45 degrees and drop your head down. Gently use the oposite hand to pull down on your head slightly, then begin to bend in the opposite direction of the side that you’re stretching until you feel a stretch in your neck and the back of your shoulder or upper back. Hold that position for half a minute and then, very gradually, pull your body back into a straight position and gently let go of the extra pressure at the top of your head:
2. Shoulder Shrugs
There are a variety of shrugging motions depending on what part of the body you’re trying to stretch. This version envisions taking a typical “I Don’t Know” shrug and holding the positions with the shoulders up about 8 to 10 seconds. At that point, release and relax, taking deep breath with every shrug. Repeat, as little as 3 to 5 times.
The guys at stretchclock.com came up with this vid/ The model is even wearing a suit. Obviously you can do this at work:
In the words of one doctor, it’s the “best neck exercise” you could do. Lay on your side and use your bottom hand to support your head. Bend your head toward your shoulder and back. Be careful not to move too quickly so as not to strain your neck. Repeat several 5 – 8 times and then work your other side.
4. Neck Pull
This one is somewhat counter-intuitive. It doesn’t involve much motion, and is more a massage than a stretch. Sit back either in a chair with a low back or on the floor an straighten your back in perfect posture. Tilt your head back like you’re rinsing your hair and place both hands around the back, bottom part of your neck. Slowly and gently push on your neck, slowly moving your hands up the back of the neck till they reach the head. The pressure from the hands should release a lot of pressure in the area. Though we say “slowly,” it only takes a few seconds. Repeat a few more times.
There are variations of this maneuver, including one integrated with other stretches: