Best 10 Neck Exercises to Stretch your Neck, Back & Shoulders at the Office
Are you looking for easy and useful neck exercises? Did you sleep or sit down in a funky position and today your body hurts? Do you spend long hours at the office and feel your neck and shoulders sore and stiff by the end of the day? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are in the right article.
There are many different neck exercises that you can perform to stretch your neck and prevent neck pain and stiffness. At LANGRIA, we decided that one of our new year resolutions would be to correct our sitting position and do more muscle stretches at work to avoid stiffness and pain. This is why LANGRIA brings you today a compilation of 10 seated neck exercises that you can perform while working at the office to relieve a sore neck. But before we get started, please remember that for all exercises you need to keep a sit tall position with your feet flat on the ground like this.
via Very well Fit
And now, let's get started with the best 10 neck exercises to stretch your neck, back & shoulders while at the office:
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Neck Exercises #1. Side neck release/ trap stretch
With this simple method, you will target the sides of your neck. To perform the stretch, you have to ensure that both your feet are flat on the ground. Start stretching your right arm along the right side of the chair. Then, place the left hand on top of your head and carefully tilt your head to the left. Once tilted, apply gentle pressure to increase the stretch. Keep this position for about 30 seconds, then go back to your normal position and repeat the same neck exercise stretch with the other side for another 30 seconds.
Neck Exercises #2. Neck Tilt Down
To perform this neck exercise you have to use both your hands to do a stretch for your neck and upper back areas. But before getting started with the neck exercise, please remember to sit properly, with a tall spine and your feet flat on the ground. Once you are settled, place your hands behind your head and press them down towards your thighs while you tuck in your neck simultaneously into your chest. Keep this position for about 30 seconds before you go back to your normal position.
via Sarah Girard
Neck Exercises #3. Chest opener
It is not uncommon to slump the chest and shoulders after sitting for long periods of time, this is why we recommend the chest opener as part of our neck exercises that you can do at the office.
For this exercise, you will have to sit in the frontal part of your chair’s seat with both your feet flat on the ground as we have seen before in previous neck exercises. Slide your hands down to the back edges of the backrest and firmly grab the seat while you ensure that your hands are shoulder-width distance apart. Then, push your shoulders back and try to bring them together to your back to broaden your collarbones. Hold this position for about 30 seconds.
via Live Strong
Neck Exercises #4. Forward fold
The following exercise focuses on alleviating the cervical vertebrae and same as the above neck exercises, it is very easy to carry out at the office a couple of times a day for a few seconds. For this exercise, you have to separate your feet wider than hip-width distance and place your feet flat on the ground. Then, fold your upper body over your legs and let your head and arms hang. Hold this position for about 30 seconds. To go back to the normal position you have to place your hands onto your legs while using your arms to put yourself back to the initial position.
Note: this stretching exercise is not recommended if you suffer from high blood pressure, ocular trauma or disk herniation.
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Neck Exercises #5. Trap and neck stretch
For this neck exercise, it is better to sit sideways on your chair to have better mobility. Same as in the above neck exercises, sit with a tall spine and place both feet flat on the ground. First, lower your shoulders and send both your arms behind your back. Hold your left wrist with your right arm and gently pull away from your left arm from you using your right arm. Then, tilt your head to the right side, you will feel a stretch in the neck. Hold this position for about 30 seconds and switch sides repeating the same steps.
Neck Exercises #6. Spinal twist
Same as for the trap and neck stretch neck exercise, for this one we need to sit sideways to perform the exercise (choose a chair without armrest). Sit on the left side of your chair with your feet flat on the ground and keeping your knees as close as possible. Then twist your torso so that your body is facing towards the backrest of your chair - and remember to keep your legs together as you rotate to perfectly perform the exercise! Hold the position for about 30 seconds, then go back to normal position and repeat the exercise on the other side.
via North American Spine Society
Neck Exercises #7. Neck retraction
The following neck exercise is very basic yet very useful to relax your neck area. Before you get started with it, remember to sit tall, as if you had a string coming from the top of your head that is pulling you upwards. Then, tuck your chin in while you slightly bring your head towards the top of your spine. The best way to describe this neck exercise is to make a double chin face. Once you reached the right position, hold it for a few seconds and repeat 5 to 10 times.
via Spine and Sports Physical Therapy
Neck Exercises #8. Cervical (neck) extension
With the following neck exercise, you will take away pressure off the cervical spine while relieving yourself from neck pain.
Same as before, start by sitting tall with your feet flat on the ground. Stretch down your arms and grab the sides of your chair’s seat (bring your arms a little bit to the back). Then, push your shoulders down, tuck your chin in towards your chest and extend your head back softly while elevating your chin towards the ceiling. Hold that position for around 15 seconds, then go back to the starting position, take a rest for about 30 seconds and repeat the neck exercise again.
Note: please remember to perform this and all the other exercises carefully to prevent yourself from hurting your neck and spine more.
via Ansell Chiropractic
Neck Exercises #9. SCM muscle stretch
To stretch the Sternocleidomastoid muscle, also known as SCM muscle, you have to sit tall with your feet flat on the floor. First, proceed to sit on your right hand while you tilt your head away from the right shoulder. Then, turn towards the hand you are sitting on, in this case, the right hand and very gently tilt your head back until you feel a stretch. The stretch comes from the front of your neck. Once you feel the stretch, hold that position for about 30 seconds. Repeat the same exercise with the other side.
Neck Exercises #10. Levator scapulae muscle stretch
Last but not least in this best 10 neck exercises to perform at the office we have the levator scapulae muscle stretch. For those of you that don’t know where to locate this muscle, you can find it on the side of your neck and it is covered by the SCM muscle.
As we have told you throughout this article, get started by sitting tall with your feet flat on the ground to proceed with this last exercise of our neck exercises list. Place your hand behind your back and tilt your head down toward the opposite shoulder. At this point, you should feel a stretch in your shoulder and in the back of your neck. When you feel this stretch, hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat this same exercise with the other side.
If you want to learn more about good habits to sit at the office, check our previous article "best exercises to improve your posture at work"