Exercises to increase flexibility are an important step in developing your muscles and directing them to do their maximum function. You can use a dowel or broom stick to decrease tension and enhance the mobility of recovering muscles. Performing these exercises will help relieve tension and pain inflicted in the shoulders and neck area. Sitting during these exercises is recommended while following physical recovery. If sitting during exercises, move back away from the chair in order to prevent the dowel getting caught in the chair. It is recommended to stretch muscles before any physical activities.
Things you need
4-foot dowel rod
1 Relax your chin to your chest and rotate your head in a slow clockwise position. Do this three times and then three time in the opposite direction loosening up any tightened muscles. Grasp the dowel at both ends and lay it the length of your arm span. The dowel should be resting between your shoulders on the gape of your neck. Slowly push backwards against the rod using your head. You will be keeping your chin parallel to the ground as you push backwards on the dowel. Pull the dowel forwards as your head is going backwards. Hold in the tightest position you feel comfortable for the slow breath count of five. Take a deep breath and hold that position again, doing this nine more times.
2 Grip the dowel firmly at both ends, placing it in front of you, arm width out. Keeping your arms in a sturdy position, raise your arms gripping the dowel up and above your head. Straighten your arms as far behind your head as you can comfortably go. Hold in this position for a deep breath count of 20. Relax your arms a minute and then start the stretch over again nine more times. Hold the dowel behind your back, resting across the back of your hips. Grip the dowel at both ends and slowly stretch your arms away from your body. Push the dowel as far from your body as you can without bending forward. This will help loosen your shoulders.
3 Bend forward using your hips as the pivoting point, holding the dowel in front of you grasped at both ends. The dowel should be equal length to the floor, allow your arms to hang for a minute, this will stretch your shoulder muscles. Swiftly lift your torso upwards and push your arm in a forward motion. Pushing your arms up and curling them back towards your chest, make a swooping or rowing motion. Hold the position for a deep breath count of 30, repeat nine more times. Doing this exercise will help strengthen your chest and arm muscles as well.
4 Place the dowel rod vertically down the centre of your back, grip the dowel with one hand at the lowest point you can hold it. Use your opposite hand to grip the highest point you can reach on the dowel. Gently slide the top hand down the base of the dowel until it meets the other hand along the dowel or as far is it can comfortably stretch. Hold this position for a deep breath count of 30, then switch hands holding the dowel in place. Use this exercise to help stretch shoulder blades, arm joints, chest and back muscles.