2 Simple Stretches to Combat Neck and Shoulder Congestion

Addressing your neck and shoulders is key to avoiding injury when training.



The neck and shoulders are the most often requested body areas to open in my yoga classes. They are also both easily injured. In this sequence, I kept each stretch accessible but also deep enough to get you feeling much better.

While the stretches may seem easy to you, the importance of them should not be forgotten. When you have tight shoulders and/or pain in the neck, lifting anything overhead will generally be done with bad form because there are muscles and fibers caught up. Even doing the bench press can be a strain on the neck.

READ MORE: Why Does the Front of My Shoulder Hurt?

So, I strongly suggest if you feel congested in the neck and shoulders to listen to your body and see if this short sequence does the trick. If it doesn’t, be mindful of any loads you decide to push.

  • Taking the ear to the shoulder is a common stretch, but sitting up nice and tall, adding the extra weight of your hand, and stretching out the opposing arm helps take the simple movement to the next level.
  • Taking thread the needle is a great stretch that incorporates both the neck and shoulder. One of the things to realize is that pain in a certain area can actually be referred pain. Sometimes a tight neck can come from the mid to upper back. Thread the needle addresses that tightness.

This is an easy flow, but an important one.

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