The Dumbbell Shrug provides upper back and neck strength. You will need a pair of hand weights (heavy staplers might work!). Ten to fifteen repetitions are recommended.
The Dumbbell Shrug is a great exercise for the trapezius muscle, especially the upper portion of the muscle which runs from the base of the neck, up to the base of the skull and out to the shoulders. Most people who work at a desk job have a lot of tightness and pain in this area. The Dumbbell Shrug will help to relax the trapezius, increase circulation, and decrease the knots in the muscle.
To do the Dumbbell Shrug, stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand. Draw your shoulders back so that your shoulder blades squeeze together while raising your shoulders as high as you can toward your ears. Then gently let the weights back down again. Each repetition should take 4-5 seconds to compelte.
Step 1: Stand up straight and allow your shoulders to relax.
Step 2: Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands.
Step 3: Keep your feel flat on the floor.
Step 4: Draw your shoulders back and up as high as you can. Be sure that yoru shoulders don't roll forward when you lift.
Step 5: Relax.
Repeat 10-15 times.
Reprinted with permission from Deskercise! The Workplace Workout, by Dr. Todd M. Berntson
See the complete library of Workplace Fitness exercises.