Tech Neck pain is the worst. In a society where it’s become the norm to bump into objects such as mailboxes because we are so glued to our devices, no wonder we have problems with neck pain. Since letting go of the devices is out of the question, a solution is stretching and elongating the spine to reverse the constant pressure of looking down.
I’ve realized that stretching is more important that strength building these days. Breathing into the muscles is part of mindfulness and creates a mental connection that makes you stronger. It’s amazing to me how powerful the breathe is. It centers my energy and it grounds me in the present moment. Even my apple watch reminds me to breathe and you gotta love that irony.
Some of my favorite stretches for elongating the spine are forward folds, balancing, and back bending.
Simple steps for standing stretches:
1. Breathe into the spine and imagine that you can feel space between the vertebrae of your spine. You could start with a walk if you have time to loosen things up. If not just stand up and start breathing.
2. Wiggle around a bit. Where do you feel tension.? With tech neck, obviously the neck and shoulders are tight.
3. Gently roll them around side to side.
4. I prefer to stretch from side to side first, get neutral and then hinge at the hips and lean forward to relax the spine and reverse the blood flow. After that I twist and rotate shown in the bottom left pic above.
5. Always neutralize the spine between movement. Mindfulness, no jerking around.
6. Slowly stand back up. Feeling our spine get longer as you stand. Lengthen the muscles down the back of the body and lift the muscles in the front. Imagine that you are getting taller and longer. It sounds silly but I swear it helps.
7. Try balancing on one leg at at time and finding length as shown in my balancing pic to the right.
8. Then return to neutral again.
9. This next step of back bending is slightly more advanced. I would recommend that you are able to feel “the length” in your lower spine while doing the above exercises before moving into this. Or the same movement can be done on the floor by placing your belly down and gently lifting the front part of the body (the up dog ) The goal is to not cruch the lower spine. In the top right picture I am supporting my low back, engaging my core and doing a gentle back bend. It starts with the low part of the spine being engaged, then lifting and arching the back.
10. Gently come back up. Stand tall and relax the neck and feel the effects. I try some variation of this most days for about 5 or 10 minutes.
I worked for a gym years ago as a personal trainer. In recent years, I prefer to workout at home with iPad videos. I also walk and stretch. I’m happier with my results and it saves time. I’m on the stocky side so there is no need for me to lift heavy weight. I do body weight training. I love Jillian Michaels videos for cardio blast, yoga and circuit training. I do the videos at home and when we travel. Youtube has plenty of samples and thats what got me started.
What do y’all like to do to lengthen the neck? There are so many things that work. I just wanted to start the conversation with this.
These pictures my brother took AFTER thanksgiving (bloat) ;).. Yes they are a bit cheesy and nothing I am wearing is new except for the sunglasses. I’ll attach some links bellow with extra information. If I’m outside I’m usually wearing a huge visor that looks ridiculous, a vest to keep my core warm and these furry gloves. My fingers are always cold and these work better than anything I have tried. More details below…
I have tried to find new pants that I like and I have’t found anything. I’ll be on the lookout and let you know. I wear lululemen yoga capris for my workout videos at home. I’ve had them for years, wash them every week and they still look great. I recently went to Lululemon and did not like the new ones. They are simply not as comfortable. There is something very different about the cut. Whats your favorite workout wear?
These leggings are by Margarita and I have had them for over 3 years. They are totally stretched out. I love the fabric. I look for the right balance of soft and supportive.