Good Moves

Do Neck and Shoulder Pain Have You Wound Tight? Release Tension With These Stretches

If you typically wrap up your workdays wishing that someone could relieve your neck and shoulder pain with a rolling pin, this most recent episode of Good Moves is just the antidote for your weary body. In this 13-minute session, Chloe De Winter, Pilates instructor and founder of the practice Go with Chlo, takes you through a series of slow stretches and creative bodyweight-leveraging poses designed to relieve tension in your neck and shoulders.

Before moving into the crux of this workout, De Winter encourages everyone to it of this as a body and mind relaxation experience. As you move through a series of neck rolls, she recommends focusing on your breath and letting your mind drift. Sometimes, people (De Winter included) hold stress and tension in their shoulders by tensing them up or hunching forward, she explains. Letting your mind and body relax together can have double the impact.

Once you're warmed up, De Winter demonstrates positions that allow you to leverage your body weight against your tight neck and shoulders. These moves will have you audibly sighing with relief. De Winter says that using your legs and arms to lean into a stretch can improve neck and shoulder pain because of how strong your whole body is. For instance, sitting on your knees with one shoulder on the floor and your arm extended gives your body leverage to press into those tight shoulder muscles. Doing this slowly and carefully can feel so good.

You'll end this 13-minute session in child's pose, where you'll feel the full effects of all of the stretching you just did. Ending in child's pose also allows you to explore how your body feels now that you've moved your neck and shoulders—tune in and notice reduced tension. Ready for that proverbial upper body rolling pin? Grab a mat and press play.

 

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