Neck and shoulder tension is no joke. Beyond being supremely uncomfortable, tightness in the body can mess with your alignment all over. To help find some relief, on this episode of Good Moves, trainer Colette Dong takes us through a 10-minute upper body stretch series and chest opener that will gently melt away the tension that you feel in your neck and shoulders. All you need is a mat and 10-minutes to spare.
- Colette Dong, founder of The Ness in New York City
Dong starts the workout with a two-minute warm-up that preps your muscles so they're ready for the coming movements. "We can find a lot more mobility when we are warm and moving," she says. Once your muscles are loose, this series moves into a slow progression of twists that open up the front and back body. Notably: Dong works on stretching the muscles near the ribs, back, and even right behind the scapula, which she admits is a "hard-to-reach place."
The best part about this dynamic stretching series is that because it moves slowly, you have the time and space to release both physical and mental tension. By taking a few moments and breathing into the positions, you can also exhale out any difficulties and hardships from the week, says Dong. And you can also find connections between the muscles you're stretching in your upper half and muscles elsewhere in the body. For example, as you perform twists, focus on engaging your obliques and send that power all the way up your spine to really press you deeper into the motion.
Ready to stretch your upper body? Click on the video above to follow along with Dong as she walks you through dynamic stretches for neck and shoulder pain that you can do anywhere you can place a mat.
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