Cold weather means wearing your shoulders as ear muffs. You know the look — to combat the freezing cold, we tense our shoulders and neck, elevating the scapula and triggering tightening of the upper trapezius muscles.
It’s a natural reaction to the cold, but no one wants to walk around looking like a turtle. Beyond that, no one likes the tension and discomfort that results from it.
The good news is, you don’t have to. Instead of suffering through the winter with tightness in the upper body, protect your neck with these simple exercises!
Supine Figure 8s
Regain mobility with this instantly-opening exercise! Lying on your back in the supine position, imagine the ceiling as your canvas. Now, begin drawing figure 8s on the ceiling with your nose, making sure to keep the back of your head heavy. After a short while, reverse the direction of your figure 8s.
Prone Head Hover
Time to lengthen and strengthen! Lying on your stomach, put your arms into a goal post position and rest your forehead on the floor. Now, imagine pulling your jaw back into your head as you begin to lengthen the muscles along the back of your neck. Rest and repeat.
Make sure you don’t wrinkle the back of your neck while doing this! (Refer to the third photo, above.)
Ready to get moving through that rib cage? Lying on your stomach, prop yourself up using your forearms. Make sure to stay tall on the arms and keep your belly pulled up, away from the floor. Roll your shoulders down and away from your ears, then begin looking over your left shoulder. Allowing your rib cage to wave as you move, switch and look over your right shoulder. Repeat.