Do you spend time stuck in traffic hunched over the steering wheel? Here's an exercise to help!

Elle X

Do you suffer with achy shoulders and neck when driving? Do you spend time stuck in traffic hunched over the steering wheel?

Do you feel like you have muscles as solid as bricks on top of your shoulders?

In today’s blog we’ll be looking at a very quick and easy exercise you can do when sat in traffic behind the wheel of your car. To be honest, it is such a great exercise do it whenever you need to relieve tight neck and shoulders muscles.

Take a look around and notice how many people live in this set up.

I very often find if the mid to upper back is in this position, with joints stuck open and muscles stretched long, the lower back and/or neck has to work much harder than what they were designed to do. It’s no surprise then how many people suffer with lower back and neck pain.

Now shoulders tend to get tight and tired when you’ve adopted the slumped caveman rounded shoulders position for too long – a classic pose when sat at the computer or behind the wheel for long periods of time.

In this position the vertebrae from the base of your shoulders down your back are being held in an open position causing the muscle to be held in a stretched long position.

The vertebrae in the neck are generally doing the opposite to enable you to keep your eyes on the road or a computer screen in front of you. The head rocking back makes the space at the back of the neck smaller, meaning the muscles have to stay shortened and contracted.

The muscles aren’t necessarily the ones to blame, they do what the bones tell them.

With this exercise I would like you to think about bones moving, this way the muscles will have to change how they are working.

Exercise Steps:

  • Keep your head in contact with the head rest, slump your chest even more than it is – like you have a weight stuck to your chest bone drawing you down. Feel how this allows the base of your skull to rock back against the head rest. Eyes stay on the horizon.

2. Pick a point on your chest bone and allow the chest to begin to rock up and forward. At the same time allow the back of your head to slide up towards the roof. Keep head in contact with the head rest. Notice as the chin tucks your chest lifts up some more. The eyes magically stay on the horizon.

3. Repeat the above 8-10 times.

4. No need to hold the positions just allow your bones to repeat moving in and out of these positions giving life and balance back to the muscles

5.Never go into pain. The brain will block pain and you won’t progress. Best results are gained when you nudge your comfort zone.


At first the moves may be very small, this is perfectly normal. Just keep nudging in and out working up the points on your chest bone. This, after all, is often a very stiff area. Get the movement from the spine don’t be tempted to just squeeze the shoulder blades together.

Notice your resting posture will begin to be straighter and more balanced creating more even load on the front and back of your body. Make sure you adjust your rear view mirror for your new position, that way you will know when you’ve slumped.

There is no such thing as a bad posture just one that has got stuck. Use movement to lubricate the joints and change some muscle lengths.

After all motion is lotion.

Until next time …

Knowledge is absolutely power but only when ACTION is taken

Ellie x

"I'm at the end of a long hard journey that I couldn't have taken without you and your wonderful knowledge - I haven't stopped blubbing since I got home - that breathing thing has made me feel like I've let go of something that's been keeping me down and I'm so so eternally grateful."

Business owner (Once held back by major neck surgery)

"Truly amazing! Ellies knowledge of the mind and body knows no bounds."

Mum (Once a hip pain sufferer)

"I am so impressed by the amount of mobility I regained so quickly. A set of well structured small achievable moves relieved a huge amount of pressure from my back. My issues were cumulative and had reached a point where I was struggling to move."

Accountant (Back pain was stopping her move let alone run)

"Ellie quickly assessed my whole body, my body’s history and posture and saw problems that I wasn’t aware of. These were causing the pain and most likely all the other previous ailments I had, all on my left side."

Business Owner (Once had long term hip and knee problems)

"I highly recommend Ellie, don’t wait until all other options have failed, go to her first. She will give you an honest answer about any pain in your body."

Business Owner (Once suffered with neck, back, knee problems)

"First time in so many years I have no back pain, it's such an amazing feeling and I love working with her."

Business Owner (Once plagued with years of back pain)