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Stretching exercise series: Episode 1 – Chin tucks

Sitting for long periods of time, whether at work or when relaxing at home, can have a negative impact on one’s health. The Mayo Clinic reports that most Americans spend 6 or more hours a day sitting, whether it’s in front of the computer at the office, or unwinding in front of the TV in the evening.

Our new 6-part blog series introduces stretching exercises to help you combat some of the aches and pains you may experience from sitting for long periods of time. These stretches can be performed in the comfort of your own home — even in the office! Each week, we’ll share a new stretch, along with tips from Adam Diver, a physical therapist at Mary Free Bed.

“Stretching can be used as a treatment or maintenance and preventative measure that may reduce, manage, and prevent pain,” Adam said. “Stretching as a whole keeps our muscles and connective tissue flexible, allowing us to stay in better postures for better movement and stability.”

The first 3 stretches in our series are focused to help your neck and upper extremities. As always, please check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

We’ll start with chin tucks:

stretching exercises chin tuck 1

Step 1. Sit or stand in an upright posture

stretching exercises chin tuck 2

Step 2. Pull your head straight back. Make sure you are keeping your jaw and eyes level. Hold for this pose for 3-5 seconds.

Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

“This stretch reduces forward head posture and prevents posterior muscles at the base of your skull from getting tight and causing increased headaches,” Adam said.

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