So I want to answer a question that I got yesterday in the clinic…
Someone asked “what can I do at the computer to stretch out that does not require a ball or a foam roller or anything like that?”
So today I want to go over a couple quick stretches of the neck and into the forearms, and this will be great for anyone that sits at the computer, anyone that plays music, anyone that is on their phone a lot, texting, looking down, etc…
So the first one we are going to stretch is the upper trapezius, which runs from just behind the ear down to the tip of the shoulder. We are going to start off stretching the right upper trapezius with sitting on your right hand with your palm down and fingers facing in, under the buttocks, tilt your head to the left, reaching up with the left arm to just above the right ear and giving a slight pull (left ear towards the left shoulder) and perform 5 deep breaths. Another option is put the right arm behind your back and repeat the steps we just went over. So there are 2 arm positions and do whichever one works best for you. I prefer the sitting on my hand position, but some prefer the other option. That is the upper trapezius.
Now we are going to do the levator scapula, which runs underneath the upper trapezius, from the shoulder blade to the mastoid behind the ear. So now we are going to place the right hand on the right shoulder blade, turn the nose to the left (neck rotation) and then look down to the shirt pocket, pulling gently in that direction with the left hand. Hold for 5 deep inhales and exhales. And that is the levator scapula stretch. Now you can do the same 2 other arm positions that we did in the upper trapezius stretch with the hand behind the back or sitting on your hand. Now whichever one of the 3 works best for you, thats the one you should do. For me its the arm up on the shoulder blade, but most of my clients tell me its the one sitting on their hand that is the best.
Now we are going to go into the forearms, and what we are going to do here is a stretch from the elbow to the wrist, palm and fingers. Keep you right elbow at your side with the palm up and extend the wrist down towards the floor as you pull from the fingertips. Keep your shoulder relaxed and down while performing 5 breaths, also watch out for arching your lower back. Now we are going to the same thing, but with the elbow straight (instead of bent by your side). I prefer it with the elbow bent, but whatever works best for you.
Now we are going to go the prayer stretch, with all fingers and the palms together in front of your body, with your elbows going out as the hands go down. Inhale the hands go up and exhale the hands go down creating the stretch.
Now we are going to go to each individual finger, first the index finger with the rest of the knuckles out of the way and you do the same thing, hands down as the elbow go out. We will do 5 reps at each finger. Now the middle finger together and lower down, 5 of those. Now to the ring finger times 5 and then the pinky, This is a fantastic stretch to do at the red light, or whenever.
Make sure to do both sides!
And that’s it, a little quick stretching routine from the new down to the forearms!!!
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