If you are reading this while hunching in front of your laptop to an extent when you aren't even realizing it, here's a small reminder: Straighten your back! The outbreak of COVID19 has led us all to make a shift from the corporate setting and work from the comfort of our bedrooms, sofas, dining tables, and more. Not all of us have the ergonomic setup of Working From Home. And so while the transition at first seemed godsent, with extended hours of time spent with the laptop, WFH becoming the new normal is literally becoming a pain in the neck and back. Even bigger havoc for people with an existing neck or back problem. The Solution? If you can't change the way you work, it's time to do some exercises for a stiff neck. From neck stretches to body posture improving moves here are some of the exercises that will help you ease your neck and back pain.
Neck Side bend and rotation
Loosening the muscles around the neck and back is the first step to begin a good stretch. Neck side bend and rotation is one of the best neck pain exercises to improve blood circulation, restore and maintaining flexibility, and alleviate any tension around the neck and shoulders. Start with tilting your head to the right shoulder. Hold it for 10 seconds and feel the stretch on the left neck and shoulder. Now slowly rotate the head anticlockwise to the left shoulder and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat these movements both clockwise and anticlockwise to loosen and relax the muscles around the neck and shoulders.
Working for long hours with your laptop right in front of you can end up making you slouched. Break free from holding yourself in the same position and straining your neck. Take a breather to stretch the shoulders, neck, and triceps with neck workouts. Raise your arm and bend it so that the elbows are pointed. Use the left hand to hold the elbow of the right hand and pull it towards your head. Hold it for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side. You can do this exercise for a few minutes in between your work.
Stimulating the upper back and the shoulder muscles with yoga for flexibility, shoulder roll helps relieve muscle stiffness and tension in the muscles. It helps in letting the shoulder loose while improving the movements of the shoulder blades. Start by standing straight with your hands down on the sides. Slowly roll your shoulders backward in circular motions. Make about 5 rotations and reverse it to roll your shoulders forward 5 times more. Repeat the movements 2-3 times.Cure.fit is your healthcare and fitness partner! With dedicated fitness and nutritional guidance, exercises for better health, and on-time doctor consultations - the Cure.fit Website and App serves as dedicated guidance for the ultimate healthcare and fitness platform!
Shoulder Butterfly Roll
Working on your muscles around the neck, shoulders, arms, and back the shoulder butterfly roll is one of the best neck strengthening exercises that you can do at any time of the day. It releases the tension or any stiffness in the muscles while improving blood circulation and muscle movements. Start by placing your palms on your shoulders and extending your elbows up. Now rotate your arms and shoulders forward so that the elbows of both the hands touch each other. Make 5 rotations clockwise and then another 5 anticlockwise. Repeat this sequence 2-3 times to relieve pain through Yoga for tight neck and shoulders.
Sit sideways on your chair, your right shoulders should touch against the back of the chair. Sit straight with your legs firmly on the ground. Now twist your torso to reach both your hands to the back of the chair and give it a good hug. You should feel your upper body stretch and your arm muscles loosening. Hold here for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side. Chair rotation is one of the best neck exercises for creating stimulation in the upper back muscles, elongating the spine, relieving tension from the back muscles while feeling relaxed too. You can do it on your work chair, dining chair, and even when sitting against the wall.
Shoulders can get stiff when you are working for hours at a stretch. In between work, a shoulder shrug can help you release muscle stiffness, stimulate the muscles, and improve focus on your work too. As you inhale, start by raising both your shoulder up towards your ears at once. Exhale sharply and drop the shoulders at a go. Do this for 10-15 times to let your stress, neck strain, shoulder pain, and muscle stiffness vanish.
Cat-Cow is a great exercise to improve body posture, strengthen the back, increase agility, and de-stress any tension on the neck and shoulders. As you lie on your all fours and form a strong base with your hands and knees firm on the ground, make gentle movements to check if your core muscles are engaged and that your weight is equally distributed. As you inhale, drop down your belly and form an arch with your head and tailbone towards the sky. This is Cow Pose. As you exhale, activate your core muscles to pull your belly button in and reverse the arch. Push against the floor and hold on to your exhale. This is the Cat Pose. Repeat the movements in sync with your breaths for a healthy spine.
A child's pose is a state of utter relaxation while working on your neck and back muscles. It helps you stimulate the senses too. Lay with your back on the ground and relax. Now bend the right leg and bring it close to your chest. Hold it here for 10 seconds. You can exhale and bring your nose towards your knees for some more stretch on the back. Release and repeat with the other leg. Do this sequence a couple of times. A child's pose helps you calm pain around the shoulders, back, and lower back. Tip: Make sure you take a walk around the house or in the park every few hours and give yourself regular intervals in between work to release neck strain and stay active.
Whether you have a desk and chair set up at home or you are sitting on your bed all day long for work, giving your muscles a break is a must. Every 30 minutes, take a few minutes to change your sitting position or stretch your back, neck, shoulders, and legs. Hamstrings stretch is a quick neck exercise in the strength series. Sit straight and extend your legs outward. Raise your hands up over the head and then slowly glide it towards the toes to reach and hold them. Bend your knees a bit if you need it. Hold your toes for about 30 seconds and let your back and neck stretch. You can also do it with one leg at a time and let your neck relax for a few seconds. Work From Home can get really tiring at times, daily stretching and cervical exercises can help you release muscle tensions and prevent any severe neck and back pain. Get onto practicing these exercises and make your Work From Home a healthy and fit experience.