Simple Exercises to Decrease Neck & Shoulder Tension


Try these simple exercises to relieve neck and shoulder discomfort.

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Is Your Neck Discomfort Related to This?

Do you struggle with neck tightness.?  Is turning your head sometimes nearly impossible or at least quite uncomfortable?

Do you need to constantly stretch your neck or move it around, looking for a comfortable position?

We have been talking this month about your rib cage connections to your head, neck, arms, core, and spine.

In this installment, we are going to:

  1. Have you checked four muscles in your neck that are attached to your rib cage that, when ‘tight’ can restrict how your head and neck move
  2. Discuss what may be driving the tightness 
  3. Give you some strategies for you to try


Let's get started:

  • Stand in front of a mirror.
  • Turn your head to the right. Return to center.  Turn to the left. Return to center.
  • Repeat three times. 
  •  Do you feel a difference side-to-side?
  •  When you do this, do you notice your torso moving as well?

Now check:

  • Bring your right ear down towards your right shoulder.
  • Return to center.  ...
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Your Rib Cage: Its Connection to How You Move

We left off our last newsletter about the rib cage with some questions for you to think about.

  1. Does your rib cage feel mobile or stiff?  Do you breathe easily?
  2. When you turn or move your head, can you do so easily?
  3. Is your rib cage flared at the bottom?

How did you answer these?  

If you answered, your rib cage feels pretty stiff: You are likely not receiving all the benefits of breathing well. When we breathe well or three-dimensionally, it helps create mobility in our rib cage.  The opposite is true when we don't breathe well. It can make our rib cage stiffer by overusing the muscles that are attached to it for the simple task of breathing.

If you answered you don't breathe well:  Your rib cage may also be it stiff or rigid.  Perhaps you feel like you cannot get a breath fully in or out.  

If you answered you do not turn your head well or easily to one side or the other:  The muscles that are attached from your neck to your...

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Give this a try for your neck and shoulders.

During this month's newsletters, we have discussed the connections of our head, neck, shoulders, and rib cage, as well as the role of that one thing we do all day long that can contribute to our neck and shoulder discomfort, breathing.

In today's installment, we will discuss some 'easy' things you can do to help calm that nagging discomfort.  Easy is in quotes because you can easily overdo the suggestions we will make here.

Let's talk posture first.  From a young age, you may have heard, 'stand up straight, pull your shoulder back, etc.'

This was well-meaning advice. However, it likely was not great for your neck and shoulders over time.  Our spines are not straight, at least not from top to bottom.  They have gentle curves to help lessen the pressure when we load them.  Our shoulders are not meant to be back behind the rest of our bodies.  If our shoulders are back, doing work in front of our bodies is challenging.

Let's add just a little more...

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