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Excellent Stretches for Tight Neck & Shoulders

I've been dealing with tight upper back and shoulders lately. Did you know that tight muscles can cause impinged nerves? When your muscles are tight, the sheath that the nerve slides in becomes tight causing nerve pain and tightness down the arms and fingers. Self-massage is always my first choice when I have tight muscles, however, stretches are also great for releasing muscles.

These stretches came directly from A Dancer's Diary. To see more stretches for other parts of the body, you can order your own copy using the link in the upper left corner.

Neck Stretches; right, front, left - hold for 8-10 seconds/4x each direction

Neck Rotations; right and left - hold for 8-10 seconds/8-10x

Upper Back Stretches; hold for 4-6 seconds/8-10x

Shoulder Rotations; tighten up, press down, and stretch forward - hold for 8-10 seconds/8-10x

Next time you have tight shoulders and neck, try these stretches. Hold each stretch as long as you need to but stop if you begin to feel pain. Remember, that poor posture can cause neck problems so make sure that you are not craning your neck or hunching over.

What is your favorite stretch for tight neck and shoulders?