Many of us spend the majority of our days in front of a computer, sitting at a desk or behind the wheel, and staring at our phones. As a result, we can suffer from poor posture, shoulders that are excessively rounded forward, and a hunched over look. This creates an imbalance in the shoulders and neck called “upper cross syndrome”, also referred to as “Text Neck”.
With this issue comes a ton of problems, but the most noticeable is a nagging pain in the upper back and neck. I have suffered from some of these issues and I want to share with you the exercises that helped me the most. Cool thing is, you don’t need any equipment.
I call this the “Shoulder Complex”, and I personally perform this series of movements at least twice a week. When I do, I perform 5 sets. I usually incorporate some other type of corrective movement in between sets, such as Single Leg RDL’s, Bulgarian Split Squats, or Glute Bridges.
One set of the Shoulder Complex:
- 10 Bent Over Straight Arm Raises
- 10 Standing Side Raises (full range of motion, all the way over head)
- 10 Standing Front Raises (full range of motion, all the way over head)
The goal is to perform these very slowly, feeling each position. Another thing to think about is making sure you are flexing your abs and not excessively arching your back. You want to maintain a “hollow body” position.
Check out this YouTube video for a demonstration and some more cues that will help you out!
These exercises will help with shoulder range of motion, shoulder strength, and upper back stability to help eliminate neck and shoulder pain! This is also my go-to warm up for the shoulders and upper back.
I hope this helps!