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I’m a personal trainer – these are the three moves you NEED to know to beat any back or neck pain


Sitting at a desk or driving a car all day is bad for our posture and can leave us in total pain with crippling back and neck pain.

Fortunately, for millions of us, there are some very basic things that can be done to avoid any discomfort.

This, as we’ve been told for years, could mean taking regular breaks from sitting in the same position and spending less time looking down at your phone.

But according to London-based personal trainer Dr. Darren Player there are also a few simple exercises that can help.

Dr. Player, a lecturer in musculoskeletal bioengineering at University College London, has now shared with MailOnline how to do this.

These simple exercises can help ease the discomfort of neck and upper back pain. The movements include keeping the head in a neutral position, rotating the neck, and strengthening the upper back muscles

The exercises include keeping the head in a neutral position, rotating the neck, and strengthening the upper back muscles.

Beginners should perform six to eight repetitions of each with a 60-second break — repeated up to three times.

This can be increased to eight to 10 reps for up to five repeated sets, Dr Player suggests.

He said, “These exercises can be done several times a day, and especially during breaks when the posture has been held for an extended period of time.

“Do the moves slowly and move only within a range of motion that is comfortable. If you experience pain, stop immediately.”

Neutral attitude

Simply standing in a neutral position can, according to Dr. Player help to relieve your upper back and neck.

Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and focus on relaxing the shoulders and keeping your head in a “neutral” forward position.

Take regular breaths and try to practice this simple movement several times a day.

Dr. Player said this will relax the muscles after the posture has been fixed for an extended period of time.

“You should not sit in a fixed position for more than an hour at a time. Taking rest breaks and exercise into account will help reduce muscle tension,” he said.

Neck rotations

Twisting your neck, especially when hunched over and staring at your phone for long periods of time, can relieve pain.

There are three types of neck exercises that Dr. Player recommends: neck rotation, neck flexion and extension, and a lateral flexion.

For the neck rotation, slowly turn the head from side to side until you can see just over your shoulder.

The neck flexion and extension require you to lower your head down so that you are close to your chest and then raise your head to the position where you can mainly see the ceiling or sky above you.

For the lateral flexion, move the ear to the shoulder on one side before slowly rotating it to the other side.

Complete these neck rotations for six to eight reps with a 60-second break before repeating three times, Dr. Player says.

But simply spending less time on your phone can also help.

He said: ‘Simply reducing the time we spend on our devices and adjusting how we look at them can have an immediate impact.

“If you’re on your device, try raising it up so you don’t have to strain your neck looking down too far.”

Pinch shoulder

You can relieve upper back pain by increasing muscle strength and flexibility.

The shoulder press works the central muscles of the back, opening the chest and helping to improve posture, Dr. Player says.

To perform the move, raise your arms in front of you and to shoulder height, then bend the elbow so that the arms are at a 90-degree angle.

Then imagine squeezing an orange between the top of your shoulder blades.

Hold it in the squeezed position before returning and repeating the movement.

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