Exercise For Neck And Shoulder Pain

Exercise For Neck And Shoulder Pain

If you spend long hours at a desk, there's a good chance you may experience some tightness and stress in your neck and shoulders.

However, taking some time out of your daily routine to exercise your neck and shoulders can alleviate existing pain and reduce the risk of further injury in the future. 

Exercises for your neck and shoulders are both simple and effective, and you can start doing them today! Keep reading to discover the best exercises for neck and shoulder pain. 

What Causes Neck And Shoulder Pain?

Neck and shoulder pain is common among people who work with their hands on a computer all day.

This type of repetitive motion causes muscle strain and tension that eventually leads to stiffness and soreness.

The muscles around your neck and shoulders are constantly working hard to keep your head upright, which puts a lot of pressure on these areas.

When this happens over a prolonged period of time, it can lead to chronic pain.

Other causes of neck and shoulder pain can include:

• Carrying too much weight in your arms

• Poor posture while sitting

• A history of previous injuries

How To Exercise Your Neck And Shoulders

There are many different types of exercises you can do to strengthen your neck and shoulder muscles. Some of the most popular ones include:

• Swimming

• Yoga

• Pilates

• Weightlifting

• Stretching

Let's take a closer look at the benefits of these exercises for neck and shoulder pain. 


Swimming is one of the easiest ways to get fit and stay healthy. It doesn't require any equipment other than a pool and a towel, and you don't even need to be particularly strong or flexible to swim.

Swimming can help alleviate pain in your neck and shoulders by strengthening the muscles that support your spine.

It's a low-impact exercise that will not only improve your overall fitness level but also make you feel more relaxed.

Swimming has also been proven to increase your range of motion and flexibility, making it ideal for those suffering from stiff necks and backs.


Yoga is another great way to relieve neck and shoulder pain without investing in expensive gym memberships.

There are several poses in yoga that target your neck and shoulders, as well as other arts of the body. Child's pose, for example, is a popular yoga for sciatica, aside from being effective in alleviating pain in the neck and shoulders. 

In addition to improving your strength and flexibility, practicing yoga regularly can also help ease anxiety and depression.

If you're looking for a new hobby, try incorporating yoga into your everyday life.

Here are some of the best yoga poses for neck and back pain:

  • Cobra pose
  • Downward facing dog
  • Headstand
  • Warrior II


Despite their similarities, there are significant differences between Pilates and yoga. Pilates is a form of body conditioning that focuses on building core strength and balance.

It was originally developed as a physical therapy technique used to treat patients recovering from spinal cord injuries.

However, it has since become an incredibly popular workout for anyone looking to tone up and build lean muscle. 

It doesn't always require an equipment so you can perform Pilates even when you don't have access to a gym or studio. Check out this article where we listed the best at home Pilates workouts you can try. 

Pilates helps to improve your posture and flexibility and strengthens your abdominal muscles, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.

By focusing on proper alignment and breathing techniques, you'll feel stronger and healthier in no time.


If you've ever lifted weights before, then you already know how beneficial they can be to your health.

Weightlifting builds muscle mass and improves bone density, both of which can reduce your risk of osteoporosis later in life. 

Lifting weights also increases your metabolism and burns calories throughout the day. You may notice that when you lift weights, your neck and shoulders feel tight and sore after a few days.

This is because lifting heavy objects causes your muscles to stretch out and work harder. The good news is that this soreness usually goes away within a few weeks.

How To Weight Lift Safely For Neck And Shoulder Pain

If you have a stiff neck and shoulders, picking up the heaviest weight at the gym is NOT going to help you.

Weightlifting can be beneficial for joint pain, but only if it's done safely. Here are some tips for lifting weights correctly:

1) Use a spotter. A spotter is someone who is there to catch you if you fall during a set.

2) Keep your elbows tucked close to your sides. Your arms shouldn't move outward past your side while lifting.

3) Don't round your back; instead, keep your chest high and pull your chin slightly toward your chest.

4) Lift with control. Take slow, controlled breaths through your nose. Focus on keeping your head still and avoid moving your eyes forward or backward.

5) Lower slowly. When you reach the top position, hold it for 2 seconds before lowering again gently.

6) Rest between sets. After each set, rest for 30-60 seconds before repeating the exercise.

7) Stretch properly. Before and after every weightlifting session, make sure to perform a series of stretches to increase blood flow to your muscles.

8) Warm up first. Do a light warm up routine before starting weight lifting exercises. Start by walking around the room for 5 minutes and performing ten push-ups.

Then walk around the room for three more minutes and do 15 jumping jacks. Finally, walk around the room for 1 minute and do 20 squats.


Exercises for your neck and shoulder pain don't have to be intense, expensive, or hard work.

In fact, there are plenty of simple stretches that you can do at home (or even at the office) to help alleviate your pain and ease some of that tightness you've been feeling.

Here are some of the most popular stretches for neck and shoulder pain:

Neck Stretches

One of the best stretches for sore muscles in the neck, neck stretches are done simply by rolling your head from one side to another.

Hold each position for about 30-45 seconds. Try rolling your head to the right, left, front, and back.

The next time you're sitting down, try rotating your head as far as possible without causing discomfort. Hold the position for about 30-40 seconds.

Shoulder Stretches

Lie face down on the floor and bring your knees to your chest. Bend your elbows and place them under your shoulders.

Press your hands against the floor and straighten your arms until your body forms an "L" shape.

Exercise For Neck And Shoulder Pain (1)

Now press your palms together and raise your upper body off the ground. Hold the position for 30-60 seconds. Repeat this stretch several times.

You can also use a foam roller to roll over your shoulder blades. Roll your body into a ball so that your spine is facing upward.

With your feet flat on the floor, rotate your torso in small circles using your arms to guide your movement.

Do not let your hips rise off the ground. Continue rolling until you feel the tension release.

Cervical Spine Stretches

Lie on your stomach on the floor and lift your legs off the ground to get started. Place your hands behind your head and gently pull yourself up to a seated position.

You may need to bend your knees slightly to achieve maximum comfort.

If this is too difficult, just sit on the edge of a chair instead. 

Once you're comfortable, take a deep breath in and then exhale while pulling your chin toward your chest.

This will open up your throat area and allow you to breathe better. Hold the position for 10-15 seconds. Repeat this stretch three times.

If you find that you still experience stiffness when doing these stretches, try adding some heat to your workout.

Heat therapy has proven effective in reducing muscle soreness and improving flexibility.

For example, a hot bath or shower works well, but if you want something easier, you can always put a heating pad on your lower back.

Across-the-Chest Stretch

The across-the-chest stretch is an exercise that can help you to improve your range of motion and flexibility while relieving any tightness in your neck and shoulders. 

To perform the across-the-chest stretch, move your right arm across your chest.

Now, place your arm inside the crease of your left elbow, and try using your left hand to support your right arm. Once you're in this position, hold it for one minute.

Then, slowly ease yourself out of this position, and repeat the process on the opposite side. We recommend doing this exercise three to five times on each side.

If you want to increase your stretch, try lifting your arm up to your shoulder height, and repeat the exercise. 

Final Thoughts

Neck and shoulder pain are some of the most common joint issues in the world. So it's important to understand what causes it, how to prevent it, and how to treat it once it occurs. Knowing what to take for muscle recovery can also greatly help your muscle relieve from soreness and fatigue. 

We also made a list of tips and exercises for a stiff neck to help you recover quickly if you're suffering from it. 

These exercises have been designed to give you a few simple ways to relieve your symptoms, so why not try them today!

Kevin Harris