Work from home? 4 Easy-to-do Desk Exercises for the Neck & Shoulder

When you're working from home, you may end up sitting in incorrect postures and work for long hours on the laptop. This often results in stiff muscles and pain in your neck and shoulders, all of which might limit the mobility of your upper body.

You can try out these neck exercises anytime, anywhere to improve the mobility and flexibility of your upper body.

The Side Stretch

The side stretch helps to strengthen the muscles between the ribs and relaxes the neck and shoulder to avoid neck pain.

  1. Sit in a sturdy chair with your feet flat on the floor
  2. Lean forward slightly to avoid "hunching" your back and shoulders
  3. Keep the hips, shoulders, and ears in a straight up-and-down line
  4. Raise the right arm overhead and bend your upper body to the left in a reaching motion. Keep the upper body facing straight ahead. Avoid twisting to the side as you bend
  5. You should feel the muscles gently stretch all along your side from your lower back and up to your shoulder
  6. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds. Return to the starting stance
  7. Switch sides and perform the stretch in the opposite direction

Cross-Body Shoulder Stretch

This exercise helps stretch the shoulder muscles.

  1. Sit on a sturdy chair; grab one arm above the elbow with the opposite hand, and pull it across the body towards the chest until a stretch is felt in the shoulder
  2. Keep your elbows below shoulder height
  3. Hold for at least 15 seconds
  4. Repeat on the other side

Overhead Shoulder Stretch

This exercise stretches the different muscles of the triceps. It's an excellent stretch for preventing or dealing with shoulder pain.

  1. Sit straight with the shoulders back, chest out, and feet shoulder-width apart
  2. Raise one arm overhead, bend the elbow, and place the hand behind the neck
  3. With the other hand, grasp the elbow and gently pull it behind the head
  4. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds
  5. Relax and repeat with the opposite arm.

Hands Clasped Palm Press

This stretch helps relax shoulders and can also be used to exercise the rotation of your forearms.

  1. Start with the hands clasped in front of your chest, and palms facing back. 
  2. Turn the palms outwards and lift arms overhead. 
  3. Straighten the elbows when the arms are over the head and reach up with ribs and shoulders. 
  4. Return to the starting stance.
  5. Switch the interlock of your fingers and repeat the above steps in the same order

The above exercises for your neck and shoulder can be done on a chair at your home or office desk. Do them regularly for significant relief from neck pain and tension in the shoulders.

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