Neck, Shoulder, Arm, and Hand Flexibility Exercises

The following exercise program is designed to reduce the aches and pains associated with the stresses of job tasks and everyday activities. The neck, shoulder, arm, and hand flexibility exercises are very simple to perform and take less than 5 minutes to complete.

Exercise Instructions

  1. The flexibility exercises should be performed at least once at the beginning of each day. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that the exercises be performed following breaks.
  2. Perform each exercise slowly and smoothly, holding for five seconds, then relax.
  3. Repeat each exercise five times.
  4. Each exercise should be done to the point of feeling a comfortable stretching sensation.
  5. Breathe normally while performing the exercises. Don’t hold your breath.
  6. Keep stomach muscles tightened to prevent arching the back.

Neck Stretches

neck stretches

  1. Bend to the right side
  2. Bend forward
  3. Bend to the left side

Shoulder Exercises

shoulder stretches

  1. Shoulders up
  2. Shoulders back
  3. Arms up
  4. Stretch arms back

Arm Stretches

arm stretches

  1. Stretch arms back and up
  2. Stretch arms back and down

Hand Flexibility Exercises

Wrist Stretches

wrist stretches

  1. Stretch wrist back with the elbow straight
  2. Stretch wrist down with the elbow straight

Thumb Stretches

thumb stretches

  1. Straighten out thumb
  2. Bend thumb across palm and wrist sideways

Finger Stretches

finger stretches

  1. Make a fist
  2. From a fist, raise back knuckles
  3. Spread fingers apart and together
  4. Straighten fingers
  5. Push back knuckle and bend finger down

Exercise Program Modified From:

  • Dr. Colt Murphy, Exercise Physiologist, Johnson & Johnson
  • Dr. George Lutz, Corporate Medical Director, Ethicon
  • Department of Engineering, Department of Health & Safety, Ethicon

No part of this work may be reproduced without written permission from the Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center.

Disclaimer: The materials on this website have been prepared for informational purposes only and do not constitute advice. You should not act or rely upon any medical information on this website without a physician’s advice. The information contained within this website is not intended to serve as a substitution for a thorough examination from a qualified healthcare provider. The display of this information is not intended to create a health care provider-patient relationship between the Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center and you.

Neck, Shoulder, Arm, and Hand Flexibility Exercises Patient Handout