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Easy Shoulder Stretches For The Office And Home

Easy Shoulder Stretches For The Office And Home

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Easy Shoulder Stretches For The Office And Home
Shoulder Stretches

Have you ever woken up feeling as though you have the stiffest shoulders and neck? If so, then you probably understand how painful and uncomfortable shoulder pain can be! There are many reasons why you might experience shoulder pain, some more serious than others. In a general sense though, shoulder pain or stiffness is a common feeling that many people can regularly experience.

When we have tight or sore shoulders, the smallest things can aggravate it — for example, if we have a restless night’s sleep or experience strain from carrying a handbag that is just a little bit too heavy!

Why do I get shoulder pain?

Stretches For Shoulder Pain

There are several major components of your shoulder. Your shoulders are made up of three bones: your collarbone (clavicle), upper arm bone (humerus), and shoulder blade (scapula). These then combine with tendons and muscles, which allows for your wide range of arm motion.

Your shoulders can often be one of the first areas to experience pain when you’re stressed, working out a lot, or rundown in general. The muscles in this area can get tense and sore really easily — part of this is because of our increasingly sedentary lifestyle, with many of us spending a lot of the day hunched over at a desk or computer. This then can cause our shoulder muscles to bunch up and become restricted.

When we’re under pressure, we can subconsciously tense our shoulders as we go about everyday life, which can then lead to shoulder stiffness. If not treated, this has the potential to cause a lot of discomfort, pain and problems such as headaches or limited range of movement.

No matter what the reason is for your shoulder pain, regularly performing these neck and shoulder stretches can help to loosen and lengthen the muscles in this area and hopefully decrease any pain that you may feel as a result.

Shoulder stretches for home

If you work at a desk a lot of the time you’ll probably notice that your shoulders have a tendency to become rounded, or hunched down, which makes the front of your chest collapse inwards slightly. This tightness can then cause pain and discomfort in the shoulders.

By giving these exercise a go every day, you can help limit the consequences of this postural habit. These shoulder stretches help open the chest back up and allow your shoulders to fall back into their natural position, which can help counteract the effects of tension building up in your shoulders regularly. 

While you can do these stretches wherever you like, we recommend performing them at home on a yoga mat as they require a bit more floor movement than the shoulder stretches that we have recommended for the office (later on in the article).

Equipment required:

A yoga mat to perform the exercises on.

1. Deltoid Stretch 

Deltoid Stretch

Stretches like this one can help loosen your deltoid muscle, which is the muscle that sits at the upper part of your arm and the top of your shoulder.

  1. Plant both feet on the floor slightly further than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bring your right arm across your body and pull it in towards you using your left arm to hold onto your elbow area. Ensure that you keep your shoulders down.
  3. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat this stretch with your left arm.

2. Wide Child’s Pose

Stretches For Shoulder Pain
  1. Start in the centre of your mat on all fours — ensuring that your shoulders are stacked over your hands and your hips are over your knees, toes untucked.
  2. Draw your toes together and widen your knees. Draw your glutes towards your heels and lower your torso towards the mat. Extend your arms along the mat, resting your head on the mat between your arms. Create space between your shoulders and ears by drawing your shoulder blades down and back. This is called Wide Child’s Pose.
  3. Hold this position for 30 seconds, continuously breathing in and out through your nose.

3. Thread The Needle Stretch

Thread The Needle Stretch
  1. Starting on all fours on a yoga mat, ensure that your knees are below your hips and your hands are below your shoulders.
  2. Release your left hand, lower your shoulder and place it on the mat. Draw your glutes towards your heels and lower your torso toward your thighs. At the same time, extend your right arm above your head, resting your head on the mat. Draw your shoulder blades down and back.
  3. Hold this position for the 30 seconds, breathing deeply throughout.
  4. Repeat this stretch on the other side.
Sweat yoga matSweat yoga matSweat yoga mat

Shoulder stretches for the office

These neck and shoulder exercises are perfect to do when you’re out and about, or in the office, and can’t fit in a proper stretch session. Repeating these exercises every few hours can help to alleviate some of your stiffness and shoulder pain that may build up throughout the day.

Equipment required:
Nothing!

1. Neck Flexion and Extension Stretch

Neck Flexion And Extension Stretch
  1. With your arms by your sides, plant both feet on the floor slightly further than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Gently flex your neck to bring your chin to your chest. 
  3. Extend your neck to return to starting position. Continue extending your neck to bring your gaze towards the ceiling. 
  4. Flex your neck to return to starting position. 
  5. Continue alternating between chin to chest and eyes to ceiling for 30 seconds.

2. Neck Lateral Flexion Stretch

Neck Lateral Flexion Stretch

 

  1. With your arms by your sides, plant both feet on the floor slightly further than shoulder-width apart. This is your starting position.
  2. Gently flex your neck to bring your right ear towards your right shoulder.
  3. Gently extend your neck to return to starting position.
  4. Repeat bringing your left ear towards your left shoulder. 
  5. Continue alternating between right and left for 30 seconds.

3. Hand Clasp Behind Back

Hand Clasp Behind Back
  1. With your arms by your sides, plant both feet on the floor slightly further than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Gently reach your arms behind your back and clasp both hands together at the fingertips. 
  3. Gently pull your shoulders back until you feel the stretch open your chest. 
  4. Hold this position for the 30 seconds, breathing deeply throughout. 

Get stretching now!

By looking after your body through regular stretching (as well as foam rolling!) and focusing on good posture, you should be able to alleviate some of the shoulder aches or tightness that you can get from living a busy life.

If shoulder stiffness or discomfort is something that you often experience, regular massages can also help, in addition to the above stretches.

Remember though, while these shoulder stretches can help ease mild shoulder pain and stiffness, if you feel sharp pain in your shoulders or neck, if it hurts to perform any of these stretches, or if your pain lasts for more than a few days, go see a health professional as you may have pulled a muscle or injured yourself. 

If you’re interested in more stretches that can help ease muscle strain and improve flexibility, be sure to check out the BAM program in the SWEAT app for a 24-week structured yoga program that stretches and strengthens all parts of your body!

* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.

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