Five Ways to Slough Stress from Your Shoulders and Arms

At the first signs of tightness in your shoulders or arms, take a few minutes to do these exercises (preferably in this order, but you can always focus on one more than the others to reduce a particular nagging pain):

I Bring your shoulders up to your ears and hold for 3 to 5 seconds. Then relax your shoulders down into their natural position.

I Interlace your fingers and stretch your arms out in front of you, with your palms facing away from your body. Hold this pose for 10 seconds.

I Keeping your fingers interlaced and your palms facing out, reach your arms over your head. Stretch up, up, and up until you can feel the stretch as far down as your upper rib cage. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and breathe deeply.

I Standing or sitting up straight, interlace your fingers and cup the back of your head. Bring your elbows back and pull your shoulder blades together. Hold for 5 seconds, and then relax.

I Place your right hand on your left shoulder. With your left hand, grab your right arm just above the elbow and look over your right shoulder. While looking over your shoulder, use your left hand to gently pull your right arm to the left until you feel your muscle stretch. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Change sides and stretch the other shoulder and arm.

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