Between sitting for hours on end hunched over our laptops, lugging heavy bags all over the place and staring down at texts on our phones while being on the run – we millennials are literally carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders. It is, therefore, only natural that they’re going to feel sore some time or the other.
With so much going on during the day, it’s very likely that we’ll ignore those tense muscles and go on with our chores as usual. This further puts our already aching shoulders through more stress and before we know it, we’re paying through our noses to treat a myriad of painful physical problems. The sound of that doesn’t seem like it will make our already busy lives any better, does it?
So without further ado, here are 5 really easy stretches you can do to fix those shoulder muscles each time they start aching. The best part? You can even do them while at work!
Workspace-Friendly Stretches To Relieve Tight Shoulders
1. Wall Stretch
This stretch is not just a great release for tight shoulders but also for an aching lower back.
- Stand with your face towards the wall keeping yourself about six inches away from it.
- Raise your arms upwards and stretch them out.
- Keeping your arms stretched straight above, lean towards the wall. Place your palms firmly on the surface of the wall.
- Slowly and steadily, let your chest fall towards the floor. Your back should form a ‘U’ shape. Remember to be mindful of engaging your core muscles while you lower your chest.
- Hold this position while taking 5 to 6 deep breaths before you return to the starting position.
2. Upper Trapezius Stretch
The trapezius is a kite-shaped muscle that extends over the upper and the rear parts of the neck and the shoulders. Stretching this muscle about 2 to 3 times a day especially while you’re working can not only help relieve sore shoulders but can also prevent shoulder aches to start in the first place.
- Sit up straight while keeping your feet flat on the ground and shoulders pulled back.
- Hold onto the bottom of your chair with your right hand.
- Slowly tilt your head sideways towards your left. Keep pushing your left ear towards your left shoulder. When you feel a slight stretch along the right side of your neck and shoulder, it’s time to stop.
- Freeze in this position for about 10 to 15 seconds.
- Repeat these steps for the other side.
3. Armpit Stretch
This pose, although very effective, may be slightly awkward since it makes you look like you’re smelling your own armpits. You may, therefore, consider doing this stretch in a private space, like a meeting room if you’re at work.
- Sit keeping your back upright.
- Turn your head sideways to the right till your nose is in line with your right armpit.
- Bring your left hand upwards to touch the rear end of your head and gently push your nose down closer towards your armpit. When you feel a gentle stretch on the left side of your neck and shoulders, stop pushing.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds before returning to the original position.
- Repeat once more for the same side, before performing the same steps twice for the other side.
4. Shoulder Rolls
Not only is this simple stretch effective in increasing the range of motion in your shoulders and upper back, it also promotes a healthier posture and releases throat tension. Shoulder rolls could also be performed with light weights for stabilization and strengthening. This will make the muscles of your upper back and neck muscles stronger.
- Sit keeping your back straight and your chin tucked in.
- Now roll your shoulders in a circular motion – first forward, then upwards followed by backward, and downward.
- Repeat this rolling movement about 10 times.
- Now reverse the order of movement and repeat for another 10 times.
5. Desk Angels
As the name suggests, this is a stretch you can do while sitting at your desk. It will help release the tension in your neck, shoulder, and spinal muscles that could be aching from stooping low over your laptop screen.
- Sit in a chair keeping your back upright.
- Lift your arms straight up, and stretch upwards. almost as if you’re trying hard to touch the ceiling.
- While keeping your head and torso fixed, move your outstretched arms down your sides and then back to stretching upwards towards the ceiling. back and forth.You should sense a distinct pulling sensation in your mid back region. This way you’ll know you’re unfolding and extending your spine.
- Repeat 10 times.