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7 Best Back and Neck Stretches For Moms That Work From Home

Managing a household and taking care of the kids, all while tackling a professional career from home can be incredibly demanding. However, your well-being should always be a priority and so should daily neck and back stretches for remote working moms.

Being a mom who works from home is a juggling act that often leaves little time for self-care. While you’re managing all the things, it’s easy to overlook the importance of stretching and maintaining good posture. But neglecting these can lead to persistent back and neck pain, making your busy days even more challenging.

The good news is that incorporating a few simple stretches into your daily routine can make a world of difference. In this blog post, we’ll share the 7 best back and neck stretches specifically designed for moms who work from home. These stretches are quick, easy, and effective, helping you stay pain-free and energized throughout the day. Let’s dive in!

We’ve talked with two physical therapists who share the best back and neck stretches for remote working moms. So get ready for some relief on your stiff and achy remote working body.

Why Work From Home Stretch Breaks Are Important

While working from home is a great flexible option for moms, it can have some downsides. Most remote workers don’t have a suitable desk or chair at home for proper body alignment. On top of that, taking breaks when working from home is often forgotten about. This means your body likely hunches over your computer screen more often than compared to office workers–not to mention the toll it can take on your mental health.

This is where quality stretching comes in. “Stretching can enhance your posture, boost productivity and focus, and help alleviate aches and pains,” says John Gallucci Jr., MS, ATC, PT, DPT, an award-winning physical therapist, author, and medical coordinator for Major League Soccer. Here are some reasons why taking stretch breaks while working from home is so important:

1. Reduces Neck Pain

Sitting for long periods of time can cause neck discomfort. Stretch breaks help relieve tension in the neck muscles and prevent chronic pain.

2. Improves Posture

Regular stretching can correct poor posture, helping you maintain a neutral position. This is crucial for preventing back and shoulder pain.

3. Eases Lower Back Pain

Stretching the lower back muscles can alleviate pain and prevent chronic back pain. Incorporating back stretches into your daily routine is a good idea for long-term relief.

4. Enhances Blood Flow

Stretching promotes blood flow throughout the entire body, which can improve overall health and reduce the risk of injuries from prolonged sitting.

5. Boosts Mental Health

Taking a few minutes to stretch can clear your mind and reduce stress, leading to better mental health and productivity. Learn more about avoiding burnout here.

6. Prevents Upper Back Pain

Stretching the upper body, including the shoulder blades and back of your head, can help prevent upper back pain and stiffness.

7. Increases Range of Motion

Stretching improves flexibility and range of motion, making daily activities and physical activity easier and more comfortable.

8. Addresses Shoulder Pain

Office workers often experience shoulder pain from poor ergonomics. Stretching can relieve tension in the shoulder blades and muscles, reducing discomfort.

9. Aids in Chronic Pain Management

For those with chronic pain conditions, regular stretching can provide significant relief and improve your ability to perform daily tasks.

10. Improves Back Support

Stretching strengthens the back muscles, providing better support for the spinal cord and reducing the risk of lumbar disc herniation and other back issues.

12. Promotes Better Sleep

Stretching and deep breathing before bed can relax your muscles and mind, leading to better sleep quality.

13. Enhances Overall Health

Incorporating stretching into your daily routine has numerous health benefits, from reducing the risk of chronic conditions to improving your physical and mental well-being.

14. Incorporates Easily into Home Office

You don’t need a lot of space or equipment to stretch. Simple exercises like neck rolls, child’s pose, and using a resistance band can be done right in your home office.

15. Customizable for Different Needs

Whether you’re an office worker, a pregnant woman, or someone recovering from a physical therapy session, stretch breaks can be tailored to meet your specific needs and help you stay pain-free at home.

Remember, taking little time throughout your workday for stretch breaks can make a big difference in your overall health and comfort. Whether it’s a quick forward lunge, deep backbend, or static stretches, these small actions can prevent severe pain and keep you feeling good.

7 Best Back and Neck Stretches for Remote Working Moms

  1. Shoulder Blade Pinches
  2. Forward Bends
  3. Upper Trapezius Stretch
  4. Floor Back Extensions
  5. Cat-Cow
  6. Shoulder Shrugs
  7. Overhead Arm Reach

1. Shoulder Blade Pinches

Shoulder Blade Pinches - daily neck and back stretches for remote working moms

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Hunching over your computer for multiple hours daily can cause poor posture and all kinds of pain in your neck, shoulders, and back. That’s why having a routine stretch such as shoulder blade pinches is needed to counteract that pesky stiff hunch. “[Shoulder blade pinches] help support spinal health by maintaining good posture and reducing the tension on your back,” notes Gallucci. Luckily, you can do them just about anywhere to combat upper back pain.

How to do it: Start standing or seated (or do a combination of both)  with your feet flat on the ground. Raise each arm up as if you’re getting ready to give a high-five, then move your arms backward bringing your shoulder blades together–still maintaining that upright high-five angle. Hold and pinch for 10 seconds, release, and repeat ten times.

2. Forward Bends

forward bends

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There’s no doubt working at a desk all day can cause major stiffness in your back. Tawny Kross, DPT, TPS, a physical therapist and a pain and wellness coach who received her doctorate from Duke University, suggests forward bends to help loosen your spine. The key here is to practice this stretch consistently so your back muscles can get the relief it needs after those long hours at a computer.

How to do it: In a sitting, standing, or long-seated position (sitting on the floor with legs straight in front of you), position your left and right foot hip-width apart. Fold your body forward, hinging at the hips, to touch your toes–or as far as your body lets you. Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute and repeat three times.

3. Upper Trapezius Stretch

Upper Trapezius Stretch

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Many work-from-home moms don’t solely work from their home office desk. Often, desks can come in the form of kitchen tables, coffee tables, your lap, and even the bed. Bouncing around and positioning your head in non-optimal positions can wreak havoc on your body, causing neck pain. Gallucci recommends this stretch to improve upper mobility and ease the tension on the neck and shoulders from long work-from-home days.

How to do it: Either standing or seated with your feet flat on the ground, bring your right arm up and over your head and then down around your face so your hand sits on your left ear. Gently pull your head toward your right shoulder and hold this position for 30 seconds. Then, repeat on the opposite side. This stretch can be done three times on each side.

4. Floor Back Extensions

Floor Back Extensions

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Floor back extensions, or cobra stretches, are great at helping loosen the spine and lower back. Interestingly enough, they also help improve digestion, blood circulation, and can reduce fatigue and stress. Kross highly suggests adding this stretch to your work-from-home routine for improved spine mobility.

How to do it: Lay face down on the floor with hands on either side of your shoulders. Press up and off the floor so your arms fully extend while your shins and feet rest flat on the ground. Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute and repeat three times.

5. Cat-Cow


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If you’ve ever been to a yoga class, you probably have heard what a cat-cow stretch is. Specifically for work-from-home moms, cat-cow is an excellent technique for stretching and supporting many muscles at once. “This stretch will help increase the flexibility of the upper back, neck, and shoulders, as well as increasing mobility of the hips and lower back,” notes Gallucci.

How to do it: Place both hands and knees on the ground shoulder width apart. Hands should be flat and in line with your hips and knees. Take a breath in and curl your chin into your chest while also curving your back up toward the ceiling. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Next, breathe out and curve your back the opposite way by bringing your belly button closer to the floor and looking upwards–you should also feel this stretch in your hip flexors. Repeat 30 times, taking breaks when needed.

6. Shoulder Shrugs

Shoulder Shrugs

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The great thing about shoulder shrug stretches is that they can be done pretty much anywhere and at any time. At your desk, on the phone during a meeting, while watching TV–you name it. The University of California suggests practicing shoulder shrugs at the first sign of tightness or tension in the shoulder and neck area. But if you want to help avoid tightness overall, add this stretch to your regular daily working routine.

How to do it: In a seated or standing position, raise your shoulders toward your ears until you feel slight tension in your neck and shoulders. Hold this position for 3 to 5 seconds, then relax your shoulders back to their neutral position. Repeat this three more times.

7. Overhead Arm Reach

Overhead Arm Reach

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Feeling tightness in your back and shoulders? Not using a firm enough chair to support your lumbar while working from home could be why. Gallucci recommends the overhead arm reach stretch as a highly effective way to reduce this tightness.

How to do it: Sit up straight and reach your hands toward the sky. Interlock your fingers and flip your palms around so they’re facing upwards. Stretch your body tall up to the sky and then exhale while holding this stretch for 15 seconds–you should feel your back elongate.

How to Make Sure You Stretch Enough During the Work Day

  • Create a Dedicated Space: Set up a small area in your home where you can comfortably stretch. It doesn’t need to be large—just a corner with enough room to move freely. Having a dedicated space makes it easier to get into the habit of stretching.
  • Keep Equipment Handy: Keep essential stretching tools like a yoga mat, resistance bands, and foam rollers within easy reach. If you have to dig through a closet to find them, you’re less likely to use them.
  • Set a Routine: Incorporate stretching into your daily routine at specific times, such as first thing in the morning, during lunch breaks, or before bed. Consistency helps make it a habit.
  • Use Reminders: Set reminders on your phone or use sticky notes around your workspace to prompt you to take stretch breaks. Regular intervals can help you remember to move.

Takeaway: Self-Care Isn’t Selfish

Remembering to incorporate these daily neck and back stretches for remote working moms into your daily life can go a long way in making your work-from-home days more comfortable and getting you back to a full range of motion. While you don’t have to do all seven of these stretches every single day, try each one and find which few work best. 

Doing these simple back and neck stretches during your daily routine isn’t just about relieving pain—it’s about taking care of yourself so you can be the best mom and professional you can be. Remember, self-care isn’t selfish; it’s essential. By dedicating a few minutes each day to stretch, you’re investing in your overall health and well-being, which benefits not only you but also your family and work. So, take a break, roll out that mat, and give yourself the care you deserve. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel and how much more you can accomplish with a healthy, pain-free body.

Keep in mind it’s also important to take frequent breaks when working from home. “I encourage stretches or a quick walk (1-2 minutes even) break once every hour or so,” says Kross. Taking care of your body and mind with breaks like these allows you to tackle your roles as a mom and a career woman, all with renewed energy and focus.

About the Experts:

John Gallucci Jr., MS, ATC, PT, DPT, is an award-winning doctor of physical therapy and CEO of JAG Physical Therapy. Currently, he is the medical coordinator for Major League Soccer, coordinating the medical care of more than 500 professional soccer players.

Tawny Kross, DPT, TPS, is a doctor of physical therapy and a pain and wellness coach. She received her degree from Duke University in 2013 and has helped Veterans with chronic pain for nearly a decade. She believes passionately in the brain and body’s innate ability to heal and now helps people take control of their pain at Kross Centered Care.