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Ways to Reduce Shoulder Tension

5 Ways to Reduce Shoulder Tension

Stress not only causes emotional anguish, but it can also affect a person physically. We're talking headaches, digestive issues, or, for many, unbearable pain in the neck and shoulders. When muscle tension builds up, it seems to create a barrier between the brain and the body, making it impossible to concentrate. Take a break for work and get some much-needed relief in minutes with these five quick stretches.

  1. Shoulder shrug: Inhale and lift your shoulders toward your ears, taking three slow counts to raise them. Exhale and just let your shoulders fall, giving into gravity. Repeat five times.
  2. Head tilt: Gently lower your right ear toward your right shoulder, then slowly switch sides. Don't hang in any one position for too long, as this isn't really a stretch — supertense neck muscles don't like to be stretched. Just try to get your stiff, tense neck moving around. Repeat five times on each side.
  3. Chest opener: Bring your hands to your hips, take a breath in, and, as you exhale, tuck your chin slightly and squeeze your shoulder blades together behind you.
  4. Head nod: Tuck your chin toward your chest, taking three slow counts to do so. Really isolate the movement so just the neck is moving; don't round the upper back. This move provides a stretch for the muscles in the back of the neck. Then lift your head and lower it behind you, gazing at the ceiling to stretch the throat. Repeat three to five times.
  5. Self-massage: Take your left hand to your right shoulder, tilting your head slightly to the left. Slowly run your fingers along the muscle, giving your shoulder some gentle squeezes. Repeat on the other side.
Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
hahahahah i am definitely on this site way too much. This is the third time in two years that this same exact article has been published.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
my shoulders and neck suffer because of my bra :( my big boobs KILL!
Advah Advah 8 years
My neck and shoulders def suffer from stress, thanks Fit!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Great Fit!!!
wednesday816 wednesday816 8 years
Great tips! My neck will normally get tense when I'm stress so I'll have to try these later. Thanks Fit :)
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Great tips! My neck and shoulders get really tense when I'm super busy at work, so when I have a minute I'll try these so my neck isn't all knotted up when I get home.
tamint tamint 8 years
that felt great! i hold all my tension and stress in my shoulders/neck. Thanks Fit!
wren1 wren1 8 years
This is such a problem area for me, especially since I can't afford my chiropractor right now. Thank you for the tips!
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