Chained to your desk? If you’re someone who spends a lot of time in front of the computer (hello breakfast, lunch and dinner in front of a screen), you’re probably no stranger to neck and shoulder pain. While an occasional massage might temporarily relieve the symptoms of being hunched over the keyboard, there are some daily exercises you can do to increase muscle strength and improve your posture over time so you don’t clock out with pain every night.
1. Lie with your knees bent and raise both arms straight up toward the ceiling. Alternating sides, reach one arm at a time as high up as you can, engaging and stretching it straight out as if you’re reaching for something hovering above you. As you do this, turn your head to look at the opposite arm. Though this seems easy, it’s a great beginning way to work the muscles in your shoulders. Additionally you’re creating a slight twist which is “super important for strong shoulders,” according to Andrea Palen, a Pilates instructor and biomechanics specialist who is co-founder of Pilates for the People. Alternate and repeat about ten times per arm.