If you're sitting for long periods of time behind a desk, computer or steering wheel the muscles in your shoulders, neck and upper back can really tighten up. The following information, and stretching exercises, will help you stay loose, supple and tension free.
Why is Stretching Important?
By placing particular parts of the body in certain positions, we are able to increase the length of our muscles. As a result of this, a reduction in general muscle tension is achieved and our normal range of movement is increased. The benefits of an extended range of movement includes: increased comfort; a greater ability to move freely; and a lessening of our susceptibility to muscle and tendon strain injuries.
Along with an extended range of movement, a regular stretching program will also help to improve posture; develop body awareness; improve co-ordination; promote circulation; increase energy; and improve relaxation and stress relief.
What else can you do?
Before we move onto the specific stretching exercises that will help you relieve pain and tension from sitting for long periods of time, let's have a look at some other techniques you can use.
How to Stretch?
To follow are a few rules and guidelines to help you get the most from your stretching and ensure you stay safe and injury free. If you're interested in a more detailed report, click on the following for an in-depth article on the rules for safe stretching.
What to Stretch?
Below are a few stretches that can be performed in a seated position that will help to relieve tension around the shoulders, neck and upper back. The following stretches should be held for about 15 to 20 seconds and then repeated 2 to 4 times.
|While sitting on a chair, cross your arms over and hang on to the chair between your legs. Let your head fall forward and then lean backwards.|
|Look forward while keeping your head up. Slowly move your ear towards your shoulder while keeping your hands behind your back.|
|Sit upright and interlock your fingers. Bend your arms and place them above your head while forcing your elbows and hands backwards.|
|Keep your shoulders still and your head up. Slowly rotate your chin towards your shoulder.|
|Sit upright and place one arm across your body. Keep your arm parallel to the ground and pull your elbow towards your opposite shoulder.|
The above 5 stretches are just a small sample from the comprehensive range of stretching exercises from The Stretching Handbook & DVD. For dozens of stretching exercises to help you, grab a copy of the Handbook & DVD now. And remember...
While the recommendations on this page are a good starting point, you'll get a lot more benefit when you include a wider variety of exercises. So to improve your athletic ability, reduce injuries and really take advantage of all the stretching exercises on offer, grab a copy of the Ultimate Guide to Stretching & Flexibility (Handbook, DVD & CD-ROM).
In total, they include 135 clear photographs and 44 video demonstrations of unique stretching exercises for every major muscle group in your body. Plus, over 80 printable stretching routines for 22 sports and 19 different muscle groups.
The DVD also includes 3 customized stretching routines (8 minutes each) for the Upper Body; the Lower Body; and the Neck, Back & Core, plus a bonus CD-ROM that allows you to print out over 80 stretching routines that you can take with you wherever you go.
The Handbook and DVD will show you, step-by-step, how to perform each stretch correctly. Plus, you'll also learn the 7 critical rules for safe stretching; the benefits of flexibility; and how to stretch properly. Check out the Ultimate Guide to Stretching & Flexibility for yourself.