Dynamic stretches for the neck, shoulders, and upper back

Select a handful of the following exercises and perform them before your workout for 30 seconds to 1 minute each.

Neck roll

Good for: neck and upper back

  • Stand or sit facing forward. Begin by tilting your neck to the right. You should feel the stretch through your neck to your trap muscle.
  • After a second or two, slowly roll your head counterclockwise.
  • Pause for a second or two when you reach your left shoulder.
  • Complete the rotation by ending where you started.
  • Repeat these steps, rolling clockwise.
  • Repeat this sequence 2–3 times.

Shoulder roll

Good for: shoulders and upper back

  • Stand with your arms down at your sides.
  • Roll your shoulders backward in a circular motion, completing 5 rotations. Then complete 5 rotations forward.
  • Repeat this sequence 2–3 times.

Arm circles

Good for: shoulders

  • Stand with your arms out to your sides, parallel with the floor, with your palms facing down.
  • Slowly circle your arms forward, making small circles at first and eventually larger ones. Do this 20 times.
  • Reverse the movement and do another 20 circles.

Overhead arm reach

Good for: shoulders and upper back

  • Sit in a chair, facing forward, with your feet on the floor.
  • Extend your right arm above your head and reach to the left. Bend your torso until you feel the stretch in your right lat and shoulder.
  • Return to the starting position. Repeat 5 times, then do the same thing with your left arm.

Knee to chest

Good for: lower back

  • Lie faceup on the floor. Bend your left leg and bring it to your chest. Hold for 5 seconds, then release.
  • Repeat with your right leg.
  • Complete this sequence 3 times.

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