The ‘Cat Face’ Computer Stretch Releases Upper Body Tension in 60 Seconds Flat

Photo: Stocksy/Lucas Ottone
After hours of sitting at my desk staring into a computer screen, I'll do just about anything to give my back, neck, and shoulders some relief. But making a mask with my fingers and wearing it proudly? Yep.

According to Lara Heimann, PT, physical therapist, yoga instructor, and founder of LYT Method, the technique is an easy and effective way to give your body a boost, as well as better your posture... even though you look pretty silly while doing it. "We know the neck can get all out of whack when you're looking at a screen. In front of our computer, it’s easy to lose track of time and alignment, and then we wonder why our necks hurt or why we get headaches," she says. "Let’s recirculate some blood flow and open up the neck to realign the skull position."

Experts In This Article
  • Lara Heimann, PT, physical therapist, yoga instructor, and founder of LYT Method

How to do the cat face computer stretch

  1. Sit tall in a chair. If you're wearing glasses, remove them.
  2. Bring your thumb and pointer fingers together.
  3. Rotate your arms, leading with your pink finger, to put on your "mask."
  4. Pull your elbows up high, lower your chin a few times, and shimmy your ribs.
  5. Drop your arms to your sides. With one hand behind your head and the other on your stomach, gently move your head back into your hand and lengthen your neck. Repeat on the opposite side.
  6. Next, side bend to the right. Set your left hand gently on the side of your head. Don't push—just rest it. Repeat on the opposite side.
  7. Now, put your "cat face" back on and see if you feel a difference in your body. Chances are, some of that tension will have faded away.

Here's how to create a comfortable desk space while working from home:

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