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Seated Stretch for the Back, Neck & Shoulders

This short simple routine takes you through some basic exercises you can do right at your desk to stretch the muscles of the shoulders, neck, lower back and arms.  Modify the exercises as needed if you have any specific neck, back or shoulder problems.  Do these stretches several times throughout the day to relax and stretch the upper body.

Click on pictures for closer view

Shoulder Rolls
Roll the shoulders down and back, starting with small circles and working up to larger circles.  Do 10 circles backwards and then repeat forward circles. 

shoulderrolls1.jpg (94328 bytes) shoulderroll2.jpg (80725 bytes)


Back Stretch
Contract the abs as you tip forward from the hips, bringing the hands down to the floor.  Relax the head down and reach with your fingertips to stretch the back.  Hold for 30 seconds. 
seatedbackandshoulderstretch.jpg (97802 bytes)

Wide Back and Shoulder Stretch
From the previous exercise, take the feet wide and bring the arms inside the legs, then wrap the arms around the back of the calves, grabbing onto the ankles.  Gently pull with the hands to open the shoulders and stretch the upper back.  Hold for 30 seconds.  

seatedbackstretch.jpg (112587 bytes)
Forearm and Bicep Stretch
Take the right arm straight out in front of you and flex the palm up.  Grab onto your fingers with the left hand and gently pull the fingers back.  Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the other hand.
seatedbicepstretch.jpg (83326 bytes)
Forearm Stretch
From the previous exercise, turn the hand down so that the fingers reach towards the floor.  Use the left hand to pull the fingers towards you, stretching the forearm.  Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the other hand.

seatedforearmstretch.jpg (73562 bytes)

Dynamic Neck Stretch
Reach the left arm down and away from the body as you drop the head to the right, stretching the neck.  Place the right hand on the head and gently press your head into the hand, then release and stretch.  Continue to contract the neck and press the head into the head, then stretch for 10 reps then switch sides.
seatedneckstretch.jpg (83445 bytes)
Twisted Shoulder Stretch
Take the hands straight out in front of you and rotate the arms so that the palms face away from each other.  Cross the arms so that the palms are pressed together and round the back, reaching the arms away from you as you relax the head.  Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
seatedshoulderstretch.jpg (97836 bytes)
Related Video
Stretches to Reduce and Prevent Shoulder Pain
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