At-Home Stretches To Relieve A Sore And Stiff Neck
There comes a time in this life when our bodies will be aching and bones will be crunching. I guess that time is here for me and some of my co-workers, because we’ve started bragging about different aches, and the most common of all aches is neck pain.
The causes of neck pain may vary, but poor posture and stress are the ones triggering a sore and stiff neck. Also, sleeping in a strange position can be another triggering factor for neck pain.
Anyhow, it doesn’t matter the cause because the pain is there and is real, especially if it leads to headaches or upper back pain, and it must be released immediately. How? Well, by performing a number of satisfying stretches after taking a hot shower, you will get an instant relief from a sore and stiff neck.
So, the next easy stretches are the best in the world if you are dealing with an aching neck. At least they helped me and my co-workers a lot!
1. Owl Neck
Image Credits: Owl Neck
How to Do It: Sit upright with your spine straight, chest open, shoulders relaxed, and neck centered in a neutral position. Slowly turn your head to the right side until your chin is over the shoulder and parallel to the floor. Hold here, then tip your chin downward toward your shoulder. You can gently hold the back of your head with your right hand to increase the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
2. Seated Neck Bend
Image Credits: Seated Neck Bend
How to Do It: In a seated position, put your hands behind your back, interlace your fingers, and hold them (with palms together and knuckles facing forward) to one side, just above your hip bone. Slowly lean your head to the same side to ease into the stretch—you should feel it on the side of your neck between your ear and your shoulder—and hold for 30 seconds. Switch your hand position to the other side, tilt your head in that direction, and repeat.
3. Eagle-Arms Pose
Image Credits: Eagle-Arms Pose
How to Do It: Sitting or standing, reach your arms out to each side and then cross them in front of you, left elbow over the right elbow. Bend your arms so that your hands point toward the sky, and if you have the flexibility, wrap your wrists so that your palms meet. If you can’t make full contact between your palms, place each hand on the opposite shoulder instead. Lift your elbows so that your upper arms are parallel with the floor to target the back of the shoulders. At the same time, tuck your chin toward your chest to target the back of the neck. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then repeat from the beginning with the right arm crossed over the left.
4. Seated Mountain Pose
Image Credits: Seated Mountain Pose
How to Do It: Sit upright with a long spine, open chest, and relaxed shoulders. Interlace your fingers and raise your arms above your head, palms facing the sky. Continue pressing your palms to the sky to lengthen the shoulders and the upper back. Hold for ten seconds and focus on deep, slow breaths. Then exhale as you gently lean to the right side to lengthen the left latissimus dorsi muscle along the side of your body. Hold the stretch for a few seconds, inhale as you return to center, and then repeat on the other side. Continue swaying back and forth a handful of times, easing deeper into each side bend.
5. Open Chest Stretch
Image Credits: Open Chest Stretch
How to Do It: Sit cross-legged and upright with a long spine, open chest, and relaxed shoulders. Place your hands behind your head at the base of your skull, and gently tip your head back, using your hands for support. Bend your back slightly, and imagine your elbows growing heavy to pull you into the stretch.
6. Open Book Stretch
Image Credits: Open Book Stretch
How to Do It: Lie on your side with your knees together and bent at a 90-degree angle, in a fetal position. Interlace your fingers behind your neck, with your elbows nearly touching (the “closed book” position). Pivot your upper elbow over and across your body, as if on a hinge, and then slowly let it sink toward the ground on the other side. Breathe deep and open your chest toward the sky. Keep your knees on the ground and pressed together throughout the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
7. Shoulder-Opener Stretch
Image Credits: Shoulder-Opener Stretch
How to Do It: Lie on your stomach with your legs straight and your arms out to each side, palms to the floor. Turn your head to the right so that it’s resting on your left ear. Bring your right arm in so your elbow is pointed toward the sky and bent at roughly 90 degrees. Bend your right leg at the knee, then lift it over your body as you rotate it and your hips outward, pushing down with your right hand. Let the weight of the raised leg pull you into the stretch as it dangles toward the ground (or touches the opposite side). Hold the tension for 30 seconds as you gradually sink deeper into the stretch. Return to center, then repeat on the other side.
8. Staff-Pose Variation
Image Credits: Staff-Pose Variation
How to Do It: Sit upright with a long spine and your legs flat on the ground in front of you (if you have tight hamstrings, sit as straight as you can). Place your palms on the ground just behind your hips with your fingers facing forward. Slowly walk your hands back a few paces, then press into your hands, straighten your elbows, and lift your chest. Root down with the center of your thighs, and let your shoulder blades slide down your back as you open your chest. Hold this position for 30 seconds, and remember to take slow, deep breaths.