Maintaining muscle elasticity and flexibility is a major indicator of quality of life as you age. It’s not just for the elderly, though; it is imperative for those who enjoy active lives to take a proactive approach in working to preserve their flexibility in order to be able to keep doing the physical activities that they enjoy the most.
Having a inflexible neck or stiff upper body can cause mobility issues, headaches, dizziness, and many other uncomfortable physical issues.
These upper body and neck stretches are ideal for everyone between the ages of 5 and 135. They work well for people just getting back onto the fitness scene, and they would provide just as much benefit to gym veterans. These moves also accommodate individuals of all sorts; from runners to heavy lifters, couch potatoes to competitive athletes.
There are eight different upper body and neck stretches in this 11 minute video. You can do this stretching routine as a stand alone activity or you can do it after you complete a workout.
If you have been feeling particularly tight or struggling with a stiff neck or upper body, you can easily follow along with this video 2-3 times a day until you start feeling better.
While you do these gentle stretches, don’t be surprised if you start to hear things pop as your alignment finds it’s way back to it’s proper place.
When it comes to stretching, whether you have any existing discomfort or not, you should never, ever use force to complete a movement.
Use slow, controlled motions and never use jerking or bouncing motions in order to squeeze any extra range of motion out of any given movement.
Here’s a bit about each of the exercises in this flexibility routine:
3 Point Neck Stretch – This progressive neck exercise is fantastic for loosening up sore muscles and helping ward off heachaches and muscle spasms. Listen to the verbal cues of the stretching video in order to know when to change positions.
Overhead Tricep and Shoulder Stretch – You will feel this in shoulder joint, and in the back of your arm (tricep muscle), from the shoulder joint to the elbow.
Forearm and Finger Stretch – This is effective for tension throughout the palm of your hand and your forearm. Move your fingers and thumb throughout the hold in order to vary the specific muscles being engaged.
Overhead Chest & Lat Stretch – With the help of a wall, this is excellent for the muscles around the chest, shoulder socket, and ribcage.
Standing Chest against Wall – You will feel this across your chest, in your forearms, and within your bicep muscles. This one feels great as it opens up your chest very thoroughly and helps relieve any tension that you feel you might be carrying across your shoulders.
Arm Cross Rhomboid Stretch – This one helps increase or maintain shoulder mobility. You will feel this move primarily in the upper back and in the rear deltoids.
Torso Rotation – Years of sedentary habits or sitting at a desk eat away at the flexibility of your midsection, causing a slew of related health problems and physical limitations. This move can help improve your torso flexibility.
Lateral Bends with Reach – You will feel this move from the top of your hip, up the sides of your body as far up to your armpit.
You should always talk to your doctor before jumping into any exercise or workout program, especially if you have any existing pain or injuries to work around. With that said, and with doctor approval, this upper body stretching routine can help you gain back flexibility and help lessen the likelihood of any future discomfort.