Spending to much time slumped over a laptop or do you wake up with a sore neck? These Pilates-based neck stretches can be done whenever you’re feeling tense. Move slowly and gently to release tension in your neck and shoulders.

POSTURE AWARENESS – To start, sit or stand up straight and relax your shoulders. Deep inhale. Deep exhale . On exhale, contract your abs and relax shoulder even more. Here, bring awareness to your neck. Imagine the tension melting.

SHOULDER ROLLS – Roll your shoulders back for twenty seconds to warm up.

SHOULDER SHRUG – Shrug your shoulders and hold the elevated position for three seconds. Release back down, feeling tension release. Repeat three times.

HEAD NOD – Still standing straight with shoulders relaxed, nod head down. Hold for a few moments  feeling the back of your neck lengthen. Come back to neutral spine. Repeat and completely release weight of your head down.

HEAD NOD SIDE TO SIDE – Stand straight and stare softly forward.  Slowly tilt your head to the side, as if  your left ear is trying to touch your left shoulder. Repeat on opposite side.

UPPER TRAPEZIUS STRETCH – With your head still tilting to the side, nod your chin in and down  towards your collarbone, feeling a deeper stretch on the opposite side of your neck. Repeat on other side.

STERNOCLEIDOMASTOID STRETCH – Begin by standing straight and looking forward. Then look to your left side past your shoulder. While remaining in this position, slowly tilt your chin up, feeling a stretch along the long, muscle on the opposite side of your neck.  Repeat on other side.

CHEST OPENER – Clasp your hands behind your head.  Release shoulders away from ears and lift sternum up toward ceiling feeling the chest stretch open.  Release forward to upright and repeat several times.

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