When sitting on the computer or phone or really just about anything, gravity pulls our shoulders in and round them. The chest gets tight and the shoulders are weak.
Let’s explore a few exercises that can help. These are only a few of my favorites that I would consider easy to add in (since you don’t have to get off the floor) but there are many more out there. See my posture post and how to counteract sitting all day for more examples.
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My absolute favorite stretch. First thing in the morning, this stretch is so relieving.
- Go on all fours
- Reach arms forward until you can comfortably lower the chest down
- Rest forehead on ground if possible
- Stay for a few breaths
Thread The Needle Stretch
- Start on all fours (or in previous puppy pose)
- Reach the right arm underneath the body
- Look towards the right
- Place left arm wherever is comfortable, usually palm down on floor or straight out.
- This can also be done seated by reaching the arm across the body and helping with the opposite arm.
No idea the exact name but this one is also a favorite. Use a towel unless you can actually grasp your hands together behind you.
- Start either seated or on knees or standing, whatever you like
- Reach left arm up with towel and drop behind neck
- Reach right arm behind you
- Try to grab lower end of towel with right hand
- Pull the left arm towards the right arm
- Stretch for a few breaths
- Repeat other side
This is a strength for the upper back, which should be done regularly. This is a simpler form, but there are many ways to strengthen the upper back.
- Begin on stomach, either on a surface or ground. If stomach lying isn’t possible, go on all fours.
- Ground yourself by pushing feet into floor and contracting abdominals
- Lift one arm up (or both at same time) without shrugging shoulders too much. Repeat about 10 times.
- If this is too much, reaching arm out 90 degrees instead works great
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Fresh Fitness: Choose one of the above exercises to do each day to benefit your posture and upper back tightness. It will only take less than a minute.