The best Pilates stretches for neck and back pain relief

While working from home certainly has its advantages (an extra hour in bed, no commuting, free coffee), it also has some disadvantages, including the strain on our back and neck.

Sitting at a desk for eight hours a day is bad enough, but sitting at the dining table on a dining room chair, on the sofa, or in bed is much, much worse for our posture. Over time, problems begin to appear, from neck pain to muscle cramps to generalized tension in the shoulders.

Aside from investing in a proper desk and ergonomic chair, the best way to relieve back pain and prevent future problems is to incorporate some simple stretches into your daily routine. This is where Samantha Lisbôa, physiotherapist and Pilates trainer, and Jess Schuring, founder of Heartcore, share their top exercises to avoid problems while working from home.

Neck relief

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“Put one yoga block on top of your yoga mat like a pillow and lean a second block against it,” says Samantha. “Lie on your back with your head and neck resting on the two blocks. Slowly move your head from side to side and back and forth to achieve a myofascial neck release. I start this exercise every day to relieve tension. “

Full body exposure

For head-to-toe release, Jess recommends a standing side stretch. Stand straight with your hands above your head and palms together. Shift your hips to the left as you arch your torso and arms to the right and repeat on the other side.

Stretching the lower back and shoulder

According to Jess, a combination of the child and puppy pose is a great way to stretch your lower back and shoulders. “This helps open your lower back and chest, strengthen your upper back, and lengthen your spine,” she says. On your yoga mat, start with your legs under your chest. Extend your arms in front of you, palms of your hands touching the floor. Then gently switch to the puppy pose by pushing your bum in the air and keeping your chest and arms on the floor.

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Posture boost

Good posture is important to avoid future pain and discomfort. To sit back, Samantha recommends sitting with straight legs and arms out sideways and slightly backwards. Turn your head from side to side and repeat the process 10 times.

Suggest

Samantha says if you have experience with Pilates or yoga you can try a neck pull exercise. Lie on your back with your hands behind your head, fingers crossed and elbows wide. This supports your head and neck while creating gentle traction and stretching your neck. Keep your legs hip-width apart on the mat with your feet bent over your legs. Extend your spine until you are sitting straight, pulling your head and neck with a gentle pull as you do so. Sit back to activate your core and hold the position before rolling back vertebra after vertebra.

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