How’s your body managing the work-from-home experience? Got tech neck and a stiff spine? You’re not alone!

If you’re anything like me, you’re spending more time on your devices these days than ever before.

I teach online almost every day, which means I spend a lot of time sitting on the floor (better than a chair, but still…). 

And all that time on Zoom means my head slides forward without me even noticing. Do you notice that? The incremental creep of your head?

And what about just moving in general?

You may be walking daily, but the lockdowns mean you spend less time just moving around the neighbourhood getting stuff done. For instance, I don’t shop every day in my local fruit and veggies stores like I usually do. I’m not walking to the studio (I miss the studio 😥).

Result? Tech neck, stiff spine, tight shoulders and a general sense of dis-ease.


This delicious 18-minute series that uses a pool noodle or rolled up towel to move through that tight, stiff spine and get some mobility, ease, strength and flow back into your body.

If you don’t have a pool noodle, use a small towel and roll it up to about the diameter of a small noodle. You don’t want it too big, the goal is to get some pretty specific pressure under a couple of vertebrae at a time. If you roll the towel too big it isn’t precise enough. If you want to get fancy, put a few elastics around the roll so it doesn’t come undone.

I’m gonna be honest with you… this whole thing might not feel delicious right away…

A lot of us are really stiff in our upper backs, and when you get the pool noodle under there you may be aware that it’s hard to relax and release and let the pool noodle do its thing. Be patient, move the noodle up or down a bit to get to the best spot and breathe. It helps, I promise!

As always, move in ways that feel good or productive to you. Although this may not initially be the most comfortable series ever, make sure you are exploring ways to do it that work for you.

Hopefully by the time  you’ve gone through it a couple of times your spine and all the tissues around it will have warmed up and it will feel amazing in the moment, not just afterwards!

One of my favourite things to do in this series is to encourage people to find any un-necessary tension and let it go. Then I just stay quiet and let that happen.

Offer reminders that this feels different for everyone. Being productively uncomfortable is ok, but not being able to breathe easily is a sign that this is too much. It’s always ok to take a break, shift the noodle a little higher or a little lower, do some gentle twists from side to side to change the loads… whatever makes it feel useful is a good thing.

Cycling through this combo a few times can make for an amazing hour long class, and the difference in spinal mobility and comfort can be astonishing!

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Alison Crouch

I’m the owner of Boomerang Pilates and creator of the Move SMART program. I teach teachers how to incorporate sustainable movement and authentic teaching in their classes.

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