There’s a good chance that you’ve experienced that upper back and neck stiffness that comes from sitting at a desk or in the car for too long. And while you’ve probably heard that sitting isn’t great for your posture or health, it’s also sometimes unavoidable. I mean, where’s the last place you’ve been that didn’t have a chair?
The good news is that this is fixable. The next time you catch tension creeping into your back, try these 3 moves to keep your spine mobile and your upper back happy!
1. Tail Wags
I know these look a little funny, but bear with me.
Tail wags are a great exercise for upper back tension, because they create space in the ribs, which become stiff when we hold a static posture for an extended period of time.
2. Side Lying Arm Circles
In additional to losing range in side bending, we also can become limited in upper back rotation, when we face a screen (or the road) for a long period of time.
Side lying arm circles are a way create movement in the upper spine and the shoulder blades, which can become “glued” to our ribs, contributing to upper body tension.
3. Swan Prep
The final spinal movement that you want to do after sitting is upper back extension, since when you do desk work; it’s easy to end up in a bit of a forward slump. It’s not your fault that this happens. Gravity works!
To combat this, I love swan preps. However, since many of us find extension of the upper back challenging, it helps to prepare for it by doing side bending and rotation first, as I’ve outlined above.
*Note, you should feel the work in this one primarily between the shoulder blades. If you feel tension in your lower back, check that you haven’t lost your little pelvic tuck. If you feel it in your neck, check that you haven’t craned your neck to come off the ground.
Try these moves at least once in the next 24 hours and feel the benefits.
Photo Credit: Rebecca Anne Photography