Updated: Sep 13, 2021
Although the pandemic has worsened a lot of our health situations; sore necks and back pain from sitting all day was a pretty common occurrence even before COVID-19. Being hunched over a keyboard or textbook all day can cause rounding of the shoulders leading to neck, shoulder, back pain and poor posture!
One of the ways we can combat this occurrence is by completing stretching each day to relieve the pressure and reset our positioning in our body.
Below are three stretches you can do daily which can increase flexibility, loosen muscles and increase posture.
The Cat-Cow Pose
Begin on your hands and knees with your back straight and a neutral spine. As you inhale and move into "cow pose", lift your pelvic bones upward, press your chest forward and allow your belly to sink.
Lift your head, relax your shoulders away from your ears, and look forward straight ahead of you.
As you breath out, come into the "cat pose" while rounding your spine outward, tucking in your tailbone, and drawing your pelvic floor forward. (Much like a cat does when they are stretching after a nap!)
Slowly lower your head toward the floor, making sure not to force your chin to your chest.
This stretch allows you to easily switch between two different beginner yoga poses that aid in flexibility of the back, neck and spine.
While completing this stretch make sure you take the time to relax, as we often do not have the time to. Focus more on the fluidity of the movements rather than how many you can complete!
Lie flat on your stomach. Bring yourself onto your forearms, with your elbows directly under your shoulders and parallel to each other.
Keeping your legs about hip-width apart, stretch your legs straight back. Spread your toes wide and press the tops of your feet into your mat.
Tighten your legs, and roll your inner thighs up, your outer thighs down. Press your tailbone backwards, lengthening your lower back.
Press down into your forearms to lift your chest up.
Kneel on the floor with your toes together and your knees hip-width apart in quadruped stance.
On an exhale, lower your torso between your knees. Extend your arms alongside your torso with your palms facing down. Relax your shoulders toward the ground. While your are resting in the position take deep breaths until you feel relaxed!
*BONUS STRETCH: Quadruped Thoracic Rotations*
What even is that? Don't worry, workout terms are so much fancier than they need to be! Quadruped is a fancy word for on your hands and knees!
This stretch aptly gets it's name from starting in the Quadruped Stance which is on all fours, on the floor (preferably on a mat or soft surface like a big blanket) with your spine straight and relaxed.
Lift one hand up and place it behind your head, bending at the elbow. Slowly rotate your body, lifting your upper body including your head on the side with the raised elbow. Return back to the elbow out position.
Repeat on both sides for a total of 10 lifts per side.
Have more questions or want to learn more? Reach out to book a coaching sessions to find out all about structural balance and posture correction!