Easy At-Desk Stretches for Neck and Shoulders
Eyes strain reducer:
Close your eyes and if you have glasses remove them. Vigorously rub your hands together to create heat between your palms and place your cupped hands over your closed eyes. Once the warmth has radiated out of your palms, spread your fingers apart and let rays of light in. Repeat a couple of times and then assess how your eyes and brain feel.
Sit tall in a chair with your palms face up in your lap, shoulders relaxed. Breathe 3 to 5 deep breaths and bring some awareness to the back of your head. Inhale and on the exhale tilt your right ear toward your right shoulder. Breathe freely and slowly feel your breath create a “full” feeling in the left side of your neck. Feel the ear moving closer towards the right shoulder and the left shoulder lengthening. After 3-5 breaths very gently (and moving in cadence with your breath) bring your chin towards your shoulder and make a half circle so your left ear is now over the left shoulder. Repeat
Elbow “kisses” back of shoulder stretch and slight chest opener:
Extend both arms should height, palms down, soft wrists with fingers pointing toward floor. Bend elbows and place fingertips lightly on shoulders. Bring elbows toward each other to touch if they can. (if they don’t touch just go as close as possible). Bow your chin towards your chest. Stay for a couple of breaths and feel the scapula (shoulder blades move to create space). While inhaling lift your chin from your chest, move your elbows away from each other as if you wanted to touch in the back. Squeeze your scapula together as if you had a nut between your shoulder blades. Hold for a moment then while exhaling draw your elbows back towards each other and bow chin to chest again. Repeat as many times as you like.
Gentle Scapula stretch:
Extend arms out front shoulder height. Make an “X” with your arms by crossing right arm over left at elbows and give yourself a hug. Leading with the right shoulder, move elbows and head to the right. Then center and repeat for left side. Use your breath cadence to coincide with movement. Once you have completed five on each side, hold in the center. Leading with your elbows, lift arms overhead (your forearms will be on top of your head) extend arms out to the side and then bring them beside you. Repeat the whole sequence with the left arm on top.