If you’re like me, you sit all day in front of your computer writing, typing, and researching for more ideas. Or you’re just saying that and you’re on Facebook for hours before complaining about how time just flew. In any case, sitting in your chair for hours and hours causes a lot of tension in your shoulders and neck. I always have this problem — my hips kill me at times too! However, because I want to hammer out more ideas and concepts — or finish the level on my Facebook game, Marvel Avenger Alliance, I refuse to get up and move around. This led me to research exercises for writers and I stumbled upon a really cool idea found on Yoga Break for writers.
There are six easy stretches that can ease the pain and loosen up the tension caused by writing and typing all day. I tried each of them and here are my results.
Position #1: Sit at the edge of your chair, lift your arms over your head, effectively stretching the inside of the shoulder. Clasp your fingers together, lift your arms straight up. Keep your shoulders down and back. Lift up out of your waist. Engage your abdominal muscles by pulling your belly button in towards your spine. Extend through the palms, and deepen your breath. Remain in this pose breathing deeply for at least five slow, deep breaths. Slowly release and put hands back on knees.
While doing this stretch, I could feel my arms loosening up. I just got into a car accident (very minor) so it caused a brief, yet dull pain around my left shoulder blade. Despite that, there was definitely a lot less tension in my body immediately after the first stretch and more so after the second time. Although I do feel a dull pain in both my upper shoulders. If you’re having shoulder issues I don’t recommend this exercise.
Position #2: Sit at the edge of your chair, stretch your arms out in front of you parallel to the floor. They should be at shoulder level. Put your right hand on your left shoulder. Using your left hand, press the right elbow. This movement stretches the top of the shoulders. Don’t push the arm into your face. Keep arms level with shoulder. Keep back straight and sit erect, but not stiff. Release slowly.
I felt this stretch in my upper back and shoulder blades. It caused a little bit of dull pain the first time, but the second time, it was quite a nice stretch. If I didn’t know any better, I think I loosened up the shoulder blade even more. After this stretch my shoulders don’t feel as tight or tense like they used to.
Position #3: Push back from the desk, but remain seated near the edge of your chair. Open legs wide with your feet planted on the floor. Take a deep breath and exhale, hinge at the hips, placing your palms or fingertips on the floor. Keep your head a long extension of your spine. Breathe deeply.
This stretch was felt in the middle of my lower back. This is one of my favorite stretches so far. I usually have trouble with my lower back and this really gave it a nice stretch. Of course it caused some tension again in my shoulder, so be careful if you have shoulder problems.
Position #4: Turn towards your desk. Straighten your arms and lay your palms on the top of the desk. Push your chair out, but stay seated in it. Legs are wide apart, feet on the floor. Your head will be slightly lower than your shoulders. Shoulders are extended. Back is not arched or curved, keep it straight, long, and lean. This movement stretches out your stiff spine. You are also opening the hips and shoulders.
I’m going to be honest, I really didn’t like this stretch that much. I kept feeling as if I was choking at times. Even though, I felt a little stretch in my back, I had to continuously adjust myself to avoid choking on my shirt. There will be tension in your shoulders, please be careful.
Position #5: Move your chair out of the way. Put your hands on top of the desk. Stand back and do the same movement as Position 4, but this time you are standing. Hinge at the hips, stick your tailbone out, and your stance is the width of your hips. Spread your fingers out wide. Deepen your breathing. You’ll feel a stretch in your armpits and shoulders, similar to when you are in downward facing dog.
This position was a far better and more comfortable stretch than position 4, but my shoulders are now on fire! Aside from that, it was a nice stretch on my lower back. I could also feel a stretch in my outer thighs, buttocks and lower back.
Position #6: Sitting in your chair, bend your arms so that your hands are in front of you. Close your arms with the elbows and palms toward each other. Cross your right arm over your left arm, and put your left hand in your right hand. Take a couple of deep breaths and relax into the pose. Don’t force it. You should feel a good stretch in your shoulders. Take deep, slow breaths. You will feel a good stretch between the shoulder blades. Breathe. Pull the elbows down. Now start over, but this time cross your left arm over your right arm. This move is called seated Eagle.
By now you should know what I’m going to say, lol. Yes, you will feel this in your shoulder blades. For some reason, this stretch didn’t hurt my shoulder blades as much as it hurt my shoulders, but the tension in my arms are gone. This has always been a difficult stretch for me, but I still recommend it.
Well, I hope this list helped someone. Regardless of the pains I mentioned, I’m still glad I did this to relieve the other pains and tensions I previously had.