9 Stretching Exercises That Can Replace a Massage Session

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When we go to the gym, we often forget about stretching. But this is not a good idea, since stretching makes the body more flexible, improves our emotional state, and reduces pain. This set of exercises will also be useful for those who spend a lot of time in front of the computer. It’s recommended to do these exercises every day. By the way, you don’t even have to go to the gym to do them.

Many researches show that stretching is extremely important to do to reduce tension in the body, so here are 9 exercises to make your neck, shoulders, and back feel better. You’ll just need 10 minutes of free time and a gym mat.

Neck stretching

9 Stretching Exercises That Can Replace a Massage Session

The Owl exercise stretches the muscle that wraps from your sternum and collarbone to behind your ear.

  • Straighten up, with the upper part of body relaxed. Slowly turn your head to the right side until your chin is over your shoulder and parallel to the floor.
  • In this position, tip your chin downward toward your shoulder and hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the exercise on the other side. For a better effect, slightly hold your head with your right or a left hand respectively.

9 Stretching Exercises That Can Replace a Massage Session

Stretching the neck and the upper part of the back (the upper trapezius muscles on the sides of your neck.)

  • In a seated position (on the floor or in a chair), keep your back straight and ground your hips into your seat.
  • Bend your arms at your elbows and put your palms on the back of your head just above your neck. In this position, tuck your chin to your chest.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then slowly lift your head up and release your hands. You can also apply some pressure by actively pulling your head down with your palms.

Shoulder girdle stretching

9 Stretching Exercises That Can Replace a Massage Session

Eagle pose stretches the back of the shoulders (deltoids) and the upper part of the back.

  • Reach your arms out to each side and then cross them in front of you, left elbow over the right elbow and hands pointing toward the sky.
  • If you can’t wrap your wrists so that your palms meet, place each hand on the opposite shoulder instead and tuck your chin toward your chest. Lift your elbows so that your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
  • Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat the exercise after changing the position of your hands.

9 Stretching Exercises That Can Replace a Massage Session

The 90, 90 stretches your deltoids and pectoral muscles.

  • Stand in a doorway, hold your arms up so your elbows are at a 90º angle and your arms form a 90º angle to your body at the shoulder.
  • Straighten your back and step with one foot forward. Lean forward.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.

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