Working daily and sitting hunched over at your desk is one way to really cause pain in your neck and shoulders. Mark Roozen, the former strength and conditioning coach for the Cleveland Browns, discusses exercises you can do, while at your office, to help eliminate neck and shoulder pain.
Chronic tightness in the shoulders and neck, pain that radiates through the neck and shoulders, reduced range of motion and that stereotypical “office worker hunch” are the great plagues of modern life.
The situation is made worse because of the American mentality of work, “to get ahead we need to do more!” We get caught up in the old “push me – pull me” situation and end up like the animal in the Dr. Doolittle movie, not sure if we’re coming or going!
We want to get ahead at work, so we spend more time at our desk, work to get in one more client and push to do more and more. But if we spend too much time working away in the head forward, shoulders rolled, hips tucked under position, we risk repetitive use injuries that will start taking a greater and greater toll on our bodies, our health and wellness and our performance levels — and we will end up doing less but taking more energy to do it. We work harder to become less effective and efficient!
So what’s the solution?!
Ready for some good news? It only takes a few minutes, a few times a day to start to LIVE PAIN FREE! Below is one of my simple exercises that can be done in less than a minute, sitting at a desk or standing behind your chair – and you won’t break into a sweat and have to run to the restroom to prep yourself to get back to work!
Exercise: OVERHEAD REACH –
- Sitting at your desk, or standing behind your chair, take both arms and reach overhead as high as possible, with palms facing in and thumbs pointing behind you.
- Now here is the tricky part – AS YOU EXTEND YOUR ARMS OVERHEAD, PUSH YOUR SHOULDERS BACK (think pinching a pencil between your shoulder blades!). Now keep reaching as high as you can while at the same time BLOW YOUR BREATH OUT – as if you are blowing out a huge candle. Inhale through your noses and exhale out your mouth.
- This should open up your chest, allowing you to breathe easier while at the same time relieving stress and strain from your neck and shoulders.
Thank you Mark for these important tips for pain relief! Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important so you can stay active! For more information on Mark Roozen visit his blog!
Remember…Beauty Begins Within
Mark Roozen, M.Ed.,CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT, FNSCA, has over 25 years of experience as a strength and conditioning coach at the high school, college and professional level – most recently with the Cleveland Browns of the NFL on their Strength and Conditioning Staff. Roozen has written for a number of professional trade journals and has presented at the national and international level. He is also Co-Director of The Performance Education Association (TPEA) and owner/president of Performance Edge Training Systems (PETS).