8 Neck and schoulder loosening exercises

Loosen the shoulders and neck with these 8 Pilates neck and shoulder exercises! It reduces tension, lengthens the neck and schoulder muscles and also creates support for the head and neck. This Pilates workout exercise serie can be done once or twice a week, not to often. Don’t do these exercises when you have a shoulder or neck injury. If you have some neck tension however, then this will be wonderfull. Always stop when you feel pain! For other Pilates exercises on topic, go to the Pilates exercise series section with series like 11 exercises for a weak lower back and 50 basic Pilates exercises. Also check out the total body Pilates workouts. Have fun!

8 Neck and Shoulder: Single Exercises

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8 neck and shoulder loosening ecercises


8 Pilates Neck and shoulder single exercises

These eight Pilates exercises are great for when you have too much neck tension. Don’t do these exercises if you have a (neck) injury. Also make sure you see a physician first to make sure you’re fit enough to do these exercises. These exercises all work on shoulder and neck flexibility. This can be quite dangerous if you have a lot of tension in the neck or shoulder muscles. Take it slow and check first if these exercises are suitable for you. If you have loose joints already (like hypermobility), then also watch out for these exercises. In that case you might consider more stabilizing exercises, as can be found in the pilates exercises for beginners.

1. Swinging the arms

Neck and shoulder exercise 1

Nice loosening Pilates exercise to start with. Swing the arms from one side to the other and move along with the rest of the body. Turn with the feet as well; one foot at the time. Try to lengthen the spine in a relaxed manner and don’t let your head hang towards the floor. Also relax the arms. Hold the chest up high and feel your shoulders having support from your chest. The last bit of the turn to the side provides a stretch on the shoulders. You will also feel a lower back stretch there.

2. Looking over the shoulder

Neck and shoulder exercise 2

In this Pilates exercise, start with swinging the arms only, from side to side. Doing this will give you core support from the spine. The next step is to turn with the upper body only, so not with the hips and legs. Just look over your shoulder and turn with the upper body. This give a stretch on the chest and lower back. The last stap is to look a little further to feel the neck as well. Don’t go to far here, it should all feel comfortable.

3. Turning only the shoulders

Neck and shoulder exercise 3

This is a fun Pilates exercise because it’s not a move you would do often. You should look forward and keep your legs and hips still and the try to only turn the shoulders. This creates a turn in the middle of the spine. At the same time it lengthens the neck muscles and loosens the shoulders. Don’t go to far here, the middle spine is not supposed to have much flexibility in the turn. Also move slowly, because it’s a bit of a stretch as well.

4. Hanging the head

Neck and shoulder exercise 4

Let you head hang in front of you facing down and then slowly move to the side, still facing down. Don’t tilt your head to the side. Try to search for the side neck muscles at the back of the neck, the ones that tense up the fastest. Just relax the head if that doesn’t hurt. Otherwise stop right away. You’re lengthening and relaxing the neck muscles here. Nice Pilates neck and shoulder relaxing exercise.

5. Shoulder stretch front

Neck and shoulder exercise 5

A lovely Pilates exercise for a stretch on the front of the shoulders. It should feel comfortable. Just throw your arms back while you push out the chest a bit forward and upward. Relax your arms and really swing here. It’s the moving with the shoulders and the chest and spine all together that makes it a lovely exercise. So work from the chest!

6. Rolling the shoulders

Neck and shoulder exercise 6

A real classic Pilates loosening exercise for the shoulders. Just slowly roll them all the way to the ears, then back, then down and then up again. Move along with the chest as well for a bit of spine and upper body action. It’s one of the more simpel shoulder flexibility and mobility exercises. Don’t roll to many times, a couple of repetitions is more than enough.

7. Upper spine push

Neck and shoulder exercise 7

This is a challenging Pilates exercise. Bring one elbow up and straigthen out the other arm downward and backward with the palm facing foward. Don’t lift your shoulders. Keep the spine stable when you do this and try to feel that you’re pushing forward the most upper vertebrea of the back (not the neck), so between the shoulder at the back. Move slow and relaxed. This is a fantastic exercise for creating head suppurt. Also a shoulder stretch.

8. Elbow action for shoulders

Neck and shoulder exercise 8

Try to stand firm and keep the whole body stable. Don’t lift the shoulders. Pull one elbow up in front of you and pull the other elbow back inward a bit. Keep your shoulders down in a relaxed manner as you do this. You should feel a lot of stretching on the shoulders, so don’t go to far. The trick in this Pilates exercise is just to move the arms, not the body. This exercise has a tremendous effect on the shoulders, so watch out, don’t overdo it.

More Pilates exercises and workouts

That’s it for the Neck and shoulder exercises on this page. You can also create your own Pilates workout by taking exercises from the Pilates exercises encyclopedia. They are grouped in ab exercises, back exercises, neck and shoulder exercises and general exercises. Amongst those exercises are the 50 basic Pilates exercises. Along with the Pilates for beginners, this is a great way to start doing Pilates. If you want to work on the lower back because of lower back pain or tension, then see the Pilates for the lower back page. You will find exercise series there like 11 Pilates exercises for a weak lower back. For Pilates exercises on topic, check out the Pilates exercise series. There are also free Pilates exercises and workouts to do for which you can sign up on those pages. Top 5 Pilates exercises for at home and 5 great Pilates workouts for at home are two examples. And of course there are a lot of great Pilates workouts to do.