exercises to relax your neck with good neck exercises
To relieve muscular tension in the back and neck, there is nothing like a few exercises to relax the trapezius muscles that go from the spine to the shoulders. Here are eight pro techniques to relax them.
Poor posture at work, long hours sitting in front of the computer, uncomfortable positions on the train, on the couch and even in bed, a stress peak … There are many reasons that create tensions in our trapezius muscles, these muscles located in the back and neck, sometimes leading to severe back pain.
To relieve these tensions and relax this area that extends from the spine to the shoulders, we asked the advice of professionals: Lucile Woodward, sports coach and Frédéric Srour, physiotherapist and ergonomist, author of “Not bad! guide of good gestures and good postures “. Between good habits to adopt daily, easy exercises and stretching, here are their techniques to relax trapezius and relieve back stiff.
Distinguish the two types of trapezes
Before anything else, you should know that there are two kinds of trapeze. The upper trapezius – often the most painful – are the muscles between the shoulders and the nape of the neck. The lower trapezius, they are usually responsible for shoulder pain when they are too tight. These muscles, which ensure a good support of the bust, are with the psoas, calves and glutes an important area of stress concentration. So we try to make them work through small exercises of rotation of the shoulders.
Self-massage to relieve oneself
On a daily basis, to relieve muscular tension, Lucile Woodward recommends practicing self-massage. For example, to massage the left trapezius, we hold the left elbow with our right hand, to support it. With our left hand we catch our trapeze and mass. The sports coach advises to apply, at the same time, arnica oil, very effective to relieve muscle tension. Ideally, repeat this easy massage twice a day, massaging for 3 to 4 minutes each time
Release trapezes: the simplest exercise
The other technique on which the two experts agree is an ultra easy exercise, which has the benefit of releasing pressure in the upper back.
To do this, we inspire and ride high shoulders. We block for 3 to 4 seconds at the top, then release at once by blowing. This exercise to repeat, if necessary, several times in a row, circulates the blood, relax the trapezius and work our breathing, so precious.
Stretches that change everything
In case of pain in the trapezius area, Lucile Woodward also advises a stretching exercise to reduce muscle stiffness.
In practice, we must stick our right ear to our right shoulder, very gently. Then we bring our chin back to the chest. This movement stretches and softens trapezes. It is recommended to do it in one direction, then in the other, taking our time not to do more harm than good.
Shoulder rotations to untie the knots
To relieve knotted trapezes, Frédéric Srour has a secret, easy to apply anytime and anywhere, by car, in the queue at the supermarket, in front of his computer, while cooking …
This consists of small rotations of shoulders back and forth. By making 3 sets of 10 rotations each day, as the trapezes get loose, the tensions disappear. In front of the computer, in the office or at home, you can also move your head and shoulders very slowly by doing small movements from left to right and from bottom to top. Another tip of importance: one must vary the sitting positions and agree to travel to relax a little.
Yoga: the posture of the trapezes special eagle
In addition to its anti-stress benefits, yoga has, among other things, the virtue of relaxing muscles. For trapezes, Lucile Woodward advises the posture of the eagle (Garudasana). It is a balancing posture that is practiced upright and requires a little concentration as can be seen on the video below. It is nevertheless accessible to beginners as well as confirmed yogis.
Stiffness and pain: stop at the screens
First cause of tension trapezoids, screens. They turn out to be our worst enemies when we are subject to muscle pain.
To relieve trapezius and other back pain, professionals agree that it is imperative to minimize our time in front of a screen. To do this, we are a good student and we impose digital detox during which we cut computers and smartphones. As important as they are, they favor lowered heads and often muscle contractures.
In the office, if you have to read printed documents, it is better to place them between the keyboard and the screen and not on the side. In addition, let’s take the time to read them back to headquarters, rather than leaning over our workstation. Our body will tell us thank you.
A good seat for a relaxed posture
Last advice delivered by Frédéric Srour and particularly addressed to those who spend long hours sitting: organize his workstation and adjust his or her screens to avoid pain.
Thus, facing a computer, it is advisable to adopt a posture as straight as possible (do not hesitate to adjust the height of his chair, the angle of his backrest and armrests) and to place his eyes almost to the horizontal screen, eyes facing the upper third of the latter. In this way, our neck does not drag the rest of our body forward, creating an imbalance that inevitably forces trapezoids.