Exercises To Ease Neck and Back Pain

Working remotely is becoming ever more popular these days, whether it’s by choice or not. But when you work from home, you may end up sitting (or standing) at your workstation all day. With a lack of separation between home- and work-life, there’s a higher chance for neck, shoulder and back pain.

It’s important to take micro breaks through the day to stretch your joints and muscles to prevent cramps, aches, and pain later.

Perform each movement for 45 seconds, repeating the sequence to complete two rounds. For movements isolating one side of the body, switch to the opposite side in the second round.


1. Reverse shoulder stretch:

A feel-good stretch that will open up your chest and shoulders while also helping your upper back

Target Muscle(s): Deltoids, Pecs, and Biceps

How To Do It:

1) Stand with your feet hip-distance apart

2) Clasp your hands behind your back

3) Fully extend your arms, and keep your elbows facing each other

4) Slowly lift your hands to stretch

2. Bridge:

This move helps for an achey lower back, not only by opening up tight hip flexors (a contributor to lower back pain) but by strengthening the core and glutes to help support.

Target Muscle(s): Lower Back, Gluteus Maximus, Adductors, Hamstrings, Calves, Core, and Abdominals

How To Do It:

1) Lay flat on your back with your legs hip-distance apart

2) Place your arms along your side with your palms flat on the floor

3) Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor

4) Push to raise your hips and lower back off the ground, keeping your shoulders on the floor

5) Keep your body in a consistent gentle incline from your shoulders to hips and hold for 45sec

3. Seated Pigeon stretch:

An easy way to stretch your hips, butt, and thighs when you’re uncomfortable in your (potentially make-shift) office chair.

Target Muscle(s): Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Minimus, Lateral Rotators, Hip Flexors, and Quadricep

How To Do It:

1) Sit upright with both feet planted on the floor, directly under your knees

2) Lift your foot (with your hands, if needed) and set it on your opposite knee or thigh hugging your knee against your chest.

3) Keep your weight evenly distributed between your sit bones (for example: don’t lean more on your right side because your leg is lifted)

4. Seated Spinal Twist

Target Muscle(s): Spinal Muscles (Upper Back and Lower Back), Intercostal Muscles (Chest), Obliques, Abdominals, IT Band, Piriformis, and Gluteal Muscles

How To Do It:

1) Sit tall and upright on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you

2) Bend your left knee and cross it over your right leg

3) Place your right arm behind your left knee, and use it as leverage as you twist to your left

4) Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side

5. Seated Eagle Arm Stretch

Target Muscle(s): Trapezius and Rotator Cuffs

How To Do It:

1) Straighten your back so that your chest is tall

2) Bend both of your arms at a 90-degree angle, then cross them, placing one elbow in the crease of the other

3) Hook your wrists, so that your palms face each other

4) Slowly lift your elbows up while keeping your arms locked

5) Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side

6. Forward Fold

Target Muscle(s): Spinal Muscles (Upper Back and Lower Back), Piriformis, Hamstrings, and Calves

How To Do It:

1) Stand upright

2) Exhale as you bend at the hips, keeping your knees as straight as possible

3) Make sure to keep your hips aligned with your ankles, don’t tilt forward

4) Reach your fingertips to the floor, but if you can’t reach, grab behind your ankles/calves or cross your arms (clasp each elbow) and let your upper body hang

5) Keep your head and neck loose as you hang


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