Whether you are a cyclists or just sit at your desk all day, you probably have neck and shoulder issues. When we round forward over our tasks, the back muscles become long and weak and the chest muscles short and tense. This gives us the “hunched back” look, and actually restricts the lungs since we are closing off the space around the rib cage. With our head forward we begin to put strain on our upper back and neck. Some gentle stretches will help eliminate this poor posture and allow the lungs to breathe easier.
Begin by sitting cross legged or even in a chair, the spine long. Drop your right ear to your shoulder and place your right hand on your left temple. Gently guide the ear closer to the shoulder. After several breaths remove your hand and slowly bring the head back to center. Repeat this on the other side. Making sure the spine is still long, turn to look over your right shoulder. Place your right hand at the back of the head and gently guide the chin closer to the shoulder. You should feel this along the side neck and behind the left shoulder blade. After a few breaths slowly remove the hand and draw the head to center. Repeat this on the other side. Lastly, place a block lengthwise between your shoulder blades and another under your head. Turn the palms up and allow the chest muscles to passively stretch. You can stay here for up to 5 minutes. If you don’t have blocks you can lie over a foam roller for the same effect.