Neck, Shoulder and Back Exercises
The below exercises described in a standing position may be done in a sitting position as well. Each exercise should be done very slowly. Each exercise should be done 6-8 times per set and can be done daily, 2-3 times per day, or as often as
Exercise 1 Standing Bend:
Stand up straight with arms straight down and hands touching on your thighs. Start by rolling down your neck one vertebrae at a time until your chin touches (or gets very close to) your chest. Then continue rolling down towards your toes very slowly by working each vertebrae of your spine. (Itís okay if you cannot touch your toes. Donít force your body.) After youíve rolled down as far as you can, push yourself a little further down by using your back muscles a few times. Then roll back up one vertebrae at a time (be sure that your chin stays close to your chest and is the last part of the body to roll back up).
Exercise 2 Choo Choo Train (Rowing):
Stand up straight with arms straight out (use one full water bottle in each hand or use small weights-1-3 lbs per hand). Pull both your arms straight in and horizontally so that your elbows are in line with your shoulders but away from your body. Hold there for 2 seconds and then push your arms straight out again so that they are fully extended and your entire arm is in line with its shoulder (where the shoulder meets the neck).
Exercise 3 Cleaning the Mirror:
Stand up straight. Extend one arm straight up overhead and then make a full circle around keeping the arm fully extended. Then repeat with the other arm.
Exercise 4 Combing the Hair:
Stand up straight. Extend one arm straight out across chest and then using just your shoulder muscles, bring the arm around the head and back to the beginning position so its like circling your arm in a circle around the head. Then repeat with the other arm.
Exercise 5 Flapping Chicken Wings:
Stand up straight. Extend both arms fully on the side and then fold at the elbows so that your hands are where your rotator cuff meets the shoulder blade. Then bring your down so that your elbows touch the sides of your body and then back up. Your arms travelling up and down should resemble a chicken flapping its wings.
Exercise 6 Reach for Middle of the Spine:
Stand up straight. Bring your arms behind your back (arms will have a slight bend in them) so that your hands are on your tailbone or buttocks. Make fists with your fingers and put one fist on top of the other fist. Keep the fists stacked and slide your fists up your buttocks and low back spine until you reach your mid-back (for women, this is where your top fist touches your bra strap) and then slide the fists back down to your buttocks.
Exercise 7 Cycling:
Sit erect at the edge of the chair or lie down. (1) Bring right knee into chest, (2) extend right leg back out with toe pointed, (3) lower the right leg as close to the floor as you can (but donít let the right heel touch the floor), (4) fold the right leg and bring the right knee back into chest. Continue repeating with the right leg and then switch to left leg.