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Many people lose neck and shoulder flexibility from sitting numerous hours "hunched" over a computer or engaged in another similar activity. Back bending over a fitness/Swiss Ball is an excellent way to improve flexibility to the neck, mid-back, shoulders, chest musculature, abdominal musculature and arms while reinforcing your sense of balance.
This activity works best when performed daily. To perform this activity sit on a fit ball of appropriate size then carefully roll down and walk out until your torso, head and neck is supported by the ball. The knees should be bent to 90 degrees to start. AS you regain flexibility, straightening the knees and placing the feet closely together enhances the stretch.
Please keep your legs apart with knees bent 90 degrees until you become confident with this activity.
These stretches are aptly named because to perform these stretches one places their out-stretched arms in various positions to mimic the arms on a clock. For example, at 12 o'clock both arms would be above your head and at 3:45 both arms would be perpendicular to the body.
To perform this activity sit on a fit ball of appropriate size then carefully roll down and walk out until your torso, head and neck is supported by the ball. The knees should be bent to 90 degrees to start. As you regain flexibility, straightening the knees and placing the feet closely together enhances the stretch.
To start, extend the arms straight out, above the head and slowly attempt to touch your fingers to the floor (12 o'clock position). Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds the proceed to the 2:50 o'clock, 3:45 and 4:40 positions.
This exercise is an excellent way to stretch the latissimus dorsi muscles. Simply place your arms to the top sides of a fit ball (or chair) and lower your shoulders. You should experience a pleasant stretch. Hold this position 10 seconds. Next, lean back on your knees while continuing the stretch. Hold for ten seconds. A third variation is to lower the pelvis during a ten second stretch. An alternative stretch would be to slightly roll down to each side to effect a stretch to each latissimus dorsi separately. To further isolate the upper back musculature the stretch can be performed with the arm bent at the elbow. Please perform these stretches 3 to 5 times each.