As many of us spend more hours working from home and dealing with increased stress, we may be experiencing discomfort or pain due to new living or working arrangements. Chances are, your shoulders have gotten tighter as we spend more time sitting and looking at laptops and phones. If you’ve been suffering from headaches or pain in your neck or back, postural issues are probably a major factor. Today I’m going to walk you through four shoulder exercises for women to open up your back and alleviate some of those symptoms.
1. Standing Chair/Wall Pose
This is a great shoulder exercise for women if you’ve been spending more time sitting down or looking at your phone or computer. It helps release the front of your shoulders, taking stress off of your upper back and neck. Start by placing both your hands on a chair or a wall so they form a 90- degree angle to your body. Walk your feet back until your arms are straight and then bow, hinging forward at the hips. Keep your shoulder blades set back and be sure to avoid scrunching your shoulders around your neck.
2. Reverse Prayer Pose
If you experience a lot of neck and back pain as a woman, this shoulder exercise can help get rid of some of that tension. Start by bringing both your hands up behind your back. Rotating your shoulder heads back try bring your fists together to touch. This will help open the front of your shoulders which tend to round out due to prolonged sitting and/or cell phone use. To make this stretch easier, rotate should heads back and bring your hands behind your back. Grab your left elbow with right hand and right elbow with left hand. For variety, this pose can be done with fists or elbows.
3. Standing Overhead Resisted Stretch
This women’s shoulder exercise is great for increasing blood flow in the shoulders and upper back and helping the shoulders to relax, which can alleviate headaches, neck pain and upper back pain. Begin this stretch by grabbing a towel or stretching strap. Hold the strap in front of your body, slightly wider than your shoulders. Slowly bring the strap over your head applying pressure in opposite direction with both hands. Bring the strap slightly behind your head and hold, allowing for blood flow in the shoulders.
4. Child’s Pose
Child’s pose is an awesome stretch because it helps to stretch the hips, thighs, shoulders, neck and upper/lower back. This pose centers and soothes the brain, making it a therapeutic posture for relieving stress and can help relieve back and neck pain. This is a shoulder exercise for women that can bring alignment both inside and out.
This story was originally published on June 12, 2020, and was updated on November 3rd 2020.