Poor posture, work stress and constantly checking your phone throughout the day puts you in a posture known as "tech neck" – yes, it’s a thing. Check out these easy ways to stretch out neck muscles and ease, as recommended by Irv Rubenstein, PhD, exercise physiologist and founder of S.T.E.P.S., a fitness facility in Nashville, TN. "Do not stretch your neck if you have any neurological symptoms (weakness, numbness or tingling that radiates down the arm to the hand and fingers, for example)."
Sit looking straight ahead and relax completely. Slowly and steadily move your head backward while keeping your chin tucked down and in, avoid tilting the face upwards. Hold this position for about 10 seconds and then relax. Your head and neck should automatically protrude again. Repeat five to six times.
Side Neck Stretch
Sit on a chair and extend your right arm down towards the ground and place your left hand on top of your head, elbow pointing out to the side. Using your left hand, gently pull your head to the left while continuing to keep your right arm extended downward (you can also increase the stretch by sitting on your right hand). Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and switch sides.
Behind the Back Neck Stretch
Stand tall with your feet hip distance apart, arms to your sides. Reach both hands behind your backside and grab your left wrist with your right hand and pull it gently. Increase the stretch by tilting your head to the right. Hold 20 to 30 seconds and switch hands.
Sit on a chair and clasp your hands being your head. Focus on grounding your hips firmly into your seat. Tuck your chin in toward your chest as you use your hands to begin gently pulling your head down until you feel a stretch to the back of your neck and upper back. Hold 20 to 30 seconds, then slowly release.
Stand facing a corner, approximately two feet back from the wall. Keep feet together. Place forearms on each wall, elbows slightly below shoulder height. Lean in as far as possible within a pain-free range. You will feel this stretch in the front of your shoulders and chest, muscles that can become tight and lead to poor posture and neck pain. Hold 20 to 30 seconds.