How to improve neck and shoulder mobility

May 27

We spoke with Ashleigh Brennan, Director of Personal Training and Exercise Physiology at RISE by Studio PP, about how to avoid shoulder and neck injuries whilst working from home.

  1. Appropriate ergonomic workstation set up

It is important to ensure that you adjust your workstation to reduce any physical stress on your body. Follow the below checklist:

  • Can the height, seat and back of chair be adjusted to achieve optimal posture?
  • Are your feet fully supported by the floor when seated?
  • Does your chair provide support for your lower back?
  • When your back is fully supported, are you able to sit without feeling pressure from the chair on the back of your knees?
  • Do your armrests allow you to sit closely to your workstation?
  • Are your keyboard, mouse and work surface at elbow height?
  • Are frequently used items within easy reach?
  • Is the keyboard close to the front edge of the desk, allowing your wrists to rest on the desk surface?
  • When using the keyboard, are your wrists in a neutral position and your upper arms relaxed?
  • If standing – are you standing with appropriate posture?
  1. Frequent rest breaks

It is important to find time throughout your day to take regular breaks, resetting your shoulder and neck posture and improving your productivity. Going for a walk, a quick stretch or five minutes on the foam roller are all great ways to help reduce tension throughout your neck and shoulders, relieve tightness through your pectoral muscles and reactivate your core stability for improved sitting posture.

  1. Seated Scapular Setting Exercises

While seated at your desk, focus on lengthening through your collar bones by imagining setting them up, back and down. This will gently engage your rhomboids (the muscles found between your shoulder blades) that often become tight and weak due to poor seated posture.

Note: tight muscles are often weak muscles. Strengthening weak muscles will help relieve tightness.

  1. Chin Tucks

Although this exercise might feel as though you are not moving much, it is highly effective. You can perform this exercise seated at your desk, lying on the floor, or pressed up against a wall.

Attempt to lengthen through your cervical spine, leading with the crown of your head. Imagine someone lifting you up by the tops of your ears, without hinging at your neck and lifting from the chin. Ensure the back of your neck is the part lengthening and the muscles at the front of your neck (sternocleidomastoids) are soft and not overactive.

The purpose of this exercise is to increase the space between each vertebra in your neck. While sitting and working, this space becomes very compact and tension around the tops of your shoulders increases. By doing this simple yet effective exercise, tension (and even headaches), can dramatically reduce.

For a quick break to your working day, join one of our RISE by Studio PP virtual classes. Our world-class instructors will take you through a range of HIIT, Pilates, Yoga, Barre and Stretch & Restore sessions to look after your mind, body and overall health and wellbeing.

RISE by Studio PP continue to offer virtual fitness classes to 101 Collins’ customers. Click here to view online class passes and membership options.

For questions and booking enquiries, contact our studio manager, Carmen via phone on 0436 417 687 or email at


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