This routine is for those of you who come home at the end of the day with a tense neck, tight shoulders and a stiff back.
If you don't have a foam roller yet, please get one! They're cheap, effective and perfect for releasing tension at the end of the day.
After hours of sitting hunched over a keyboard it's incredibly important to re-align your spine and stretch the muscles of your upper body (primarily your neck, chest and shoulders).
This routine will take no more than 5 minutes and will help you de-stress both mentally and physically. And for good measure, I threw in a couple of abdominal exercises to strengthen your core and prevent further back pain.
Lie down on the foam roller with your feet flat on the floor and your arms resting by your side. Take a few seconds to breathe and relax into the position.
Open your arms out to the side with your palms facing up and allow the pectoral muscles to open and stretch. Rest your hands and elbows on the ground if you can do so comfortably. Hold for 5-10 breaths.
Keep you abdominals engaged and your shoulders stabilized while make 5 big circles with your arms. Try to brush the floor with your hands but don't force a big rotation if you're too stiff. Work within a comfortable range of motion. Repeat in the opposite direction.
Place your arms in a "goal post" position with your palms facing up. Be sure to keep your forearms parallel to the floor throughout this entire movement.
Slowly slide your forearms up above your head and then slide them back down. Keep your shoulder blades stabilized and the front of your rib cage closed. Focus using the roller to massage the muscles located between your shoulder blades. Repeat 5 times.
Keep your feet flat on the floor, sit bone distance apart.
Interlace your hands behind your head to support your neck. Keep your elbows wide but within your peripheral vision. Inhale to prepare and exhale to lift your chest, folding right under your ribs. Repeat 5 - 10 times.
Rest your hands gently down on the floor. Engage your abdominals and draw both legs up into "table top" position.
Lower one leg at a time to tap the floor, moving the thigh bone, not just the foot. Inhale as you lower, exhale as you use your abs to draw the leg back up. Repeat 5 times on each side and 5 times with the legs glued together.
If this puts strain on your lower back, then make your movement small and don't worry about touching the floor.
Questions on how to perform these exercises? Post a comment below...