Stress not only impacts your mental and emotional wellbeing, but also your physical body. I probably didn't need to tell you that; you can feel it! One way stress shows up in the body is with aches, pain, recurring or immediate injury, lack of mobility of the joints and/or stiffness of the muscles. None of these signs should be dismissed, and can oftentimes be prevented with some regular stretching and mobility training.
In this article we will review 3 of the most common areas of stress in the upper and mid-body and how to stretch and mobilize each. Remember that these exercises and stretches are not meant to treat your health concerns, and you should always consult with a doctor for serious or long term healthcare ailments before implementing any type of exercise program.
Stretch: Side neck, back neck and front neck stretches are super helpful to help pinpoint the area of the neck that is the main concern of your aches and pains.
Mobilize: Neck rolls in both directions can help get blood flow to the area and work out any stiffness from improper posture, undesired sleeping positioning or simple, common aches.
Stretch: The doorway stretch is one of the most effective chest-opening stretches to improve breathing, posture and rounded shoulder. Play around with the placement of your hands on the door (high or low) to feel what gives you the best stretch.
Mobilize: Shoulder rolls backwards allow the chest to open, shoulders to relax and the back muscles to engage in order to help pull back and prevent the forward rolling of the shoulders.
Stretch: One of the most common concerns is the lower back which connects to the side body. This side body stretch stretches the entire upper, middle and lower back along with the psoas, hip and upper leg muscles that connect to the back muscles, often causing additional pain and restrictions.
Mobilize: Standing crossover toe touches help lengthen the back muscles in movement and create a great back body stretch.
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