Luckily, there are proactive steps you can take to stay healthy and limber as you age.
When choosing a class at the gym, many people forget the need for stretching. In vain, because stretching not only makes the body more flexible, but also improves the emotional state and reduces pain. This set of exercises is especially useful for those who spend long hours in the office in front of a computer. Stretching is recommended to be done daily and it is not even necessary to join a gym.
Here’s a set of 9 exercises that will relieve tension in your neck, shoulder girdle and back. All you need is 10 minutes and a mat.
Neck stretch marks
1. Owl exercise stretches
The owl exercise stretches the sternocleidomastoid muscles.
- Straighten your back and relax your upper body.
- Slowly turn your head to the right so that your chin is at shoulder height and parallel to the floor.
- In this position, tilt your head to your right shoulder and hold for 30 seconds.
- Repeat the exercise by tilting your head to the left.
- For best results, hold the back of your head with your right and left hands.
2. Neck and upper back stretch
The neck and upper back stretch works the trapezius and neck muscles.
It is performed sitting on the floor or in a chair, hips pressed firmly against the surface, back straight.
Bend your elbows and place the palms of your hands on the back of your head. In this position, pull your chin toward your chest and your hands toward your hips.
Hold this position for at least 30 seconds, then slowly raise your head and release your arms.
To increase the intensity of the stretch, gently press the base of your palms against your head.
Stretches for the Shoulder Girdle
3. Eagle pose stretches
Eagle pose stretches the deltoid and trapezius muscles.
- First stretch your arms out to the sides, then cross them in front of you so that your palms are facing up and your left elbow is higher than your right.
- If you cannot cross your palms, place your right hand on your left shoulder and your left hand on your right shoulder.
- Your elbows should be parallel to the floor and your chin should be as close to your chest as possible.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat the exercise by switching hands.
4. The “90 to 90” stretch
The “90 to 90” stretch improves the work of the deltoid and pectoralis major muscles.
- Performed in a doorway. Place your hands on the door frame so that the angle of the elbow is 90 degrees. The angle between the shoulder and the body should also be correct.
- Straighten your back and put one leg forward. With arms and legs locked, lean forward.
- Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Do 2-3 sets.
Upper Back Stretch
5. The latissimus dorsi stretch
The latissimus dorsi stretch also works the trapezius muscle.
- Raise and straighten your right arm above your head. Bend your elbow so that your right arm reaches your upper back.
- Place your left hand on your right elbow and gently pull your right hand to your left. Then tilt your body in a straight line to the left (without leaning forward or backward).
- Hold this position for 20-30 seconds, then do the same stretch on the left side of your back.
6. Butterfly Wings stretch
The Butterfly Wings stretch works on the latissimus dorsi and pectoralis major muscles.
- Place your palms on your shoulders (left – on the left shoulder, right – on the right shoulder).
- Gently pull your elbows back as if trying to touch until you feel your upper back stretch.
- Hold this position for 5-10 seconds.
- Now extend your elbows forward until they touch.
- Hold for another 5-10 seconds.
Stretches for the lower back
7. Seated stretches
Seated stretches work the latissimus dorsi, abdominals, and leg muscles.
- Perform against the wall. Stand with your back against a wall and slowly slide down until your knees are bent at or near 90 degrees.
- Hold for 10 seconds, then return to starting position.
- Repeat 8-12 times.
8. Twist stretching
Twist stretching works the latissimus dorsi and lateral muscles of the body.
- Sit on a chair or stool with your feet firmly on the floor. Twist your torso to the right, keeping your hips still and your spine straight. Put your hands behind your head.
- You can place your left hand on your right knee (or vice versa).
- Hold the body in this position for 10 seconds and repeat the exercise by turning to the left (or right).
- Do 3-5 sets.
The “Superman” stretch works the latissimus dorsi muscle
- Lie face down on the mat with your arms outstretched in front of you. At the same time, raise your arms and legs about 6 inches off the floor.
- At this point, try to pull in your stomach by pulling on your navel – this will help to engage additional muscle groups.
- Keep your head and limbs straight. Hold this position for 2 seconds, then return to starting position.
- Repeat 10 times.