As a health and fitness coach for well over 12 years now, I’d say one of the most neglected muscle groups for strengthening and stretching is our neck muscles.
These muscles move our heads through various ranges of motion – extension, forward flexion, lateral flexion and rotation.
And since so many of us have our necks in a constant forward-down position looking at our phones and devices, the muscles become overactive and weak, leading to stiffness and soreness, and also possible cervical vertebrae issues.
It’s important to include neck exercises and stretches in your fitness routine. Here’s a few:
1. Start by standing flat against a wall.
2. Proceed to tuck your chin to your upper chest by bringing it straight down.
3. The back of your head should stay in slight contact with the wall.
4. Repeat for the desired repetitions.
Manual resisted neck extensions
1. Lie face down on a bench with your head off the edge.
2. Place a towel over the back of your head and hold the ends with your hands.
3. Pull slightly on the towel to place some resistance on your head while extending your head up.
4. Only place enough resistance to make it challenging but do not heavily strain to complete the movement
5. Perform 2 sets of 15 repetitions.
Keeping your chin and head level rotate your head to the right and hold for 30 seconds. Allow your neck to stretch and then repeat with the other side.
Neck Flexion Stretch
1. Grasp the back of your head with both hands.
2. Slowly pull your chin down towards your chest until a comfortable stretch is felt on the back of your neck.
3. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
* New Book “From Passion to Purpose”
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