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Neck Exercises Blog, A Guide to a Better Neck Posture

Hello and welcome to Neck Exercises. I am glad you want to take care of your neck. Whether you have neck pain, tension, stress or discomfort, neck exercises can help. Making small adjustments each day to include neck exercises, stretch exercises, or a neck workout, will gradually improve your neck health and quality of life. Let's get started!

Neck Exercises for a Pinched Nerve

Kenzo neckHave you ever woken up with your head tilted to one side and then try straightening your neck back up? Did you find that your neck felt stiff and possibly have some pain? If you have felt pain going to the side which your head was bent towards, you may have experienced a pinched nerve. This temporary feeling can subside with some gentle range of motion neck exercises. You’ll want to be sure that the sharp pain in your neck does not go down your arm.

Some of the neck exercises that you can do are listed and described in these posts:
Alphabet Neck Exercises
Figure 8 Neck Exercises
Head Wobble Up Neck Exercises
Head Tilt Neck Exercises
Sitting Head Rotation Neck Exercises

The head tilt neck exercises are good to relieve the compression off of the pinched nerve. You’ll want to be gentle so that you can take off the pressure and allow the cervical spine to open up to allow the nerve to be relieved. This is a good starting point as well as to put some heat on the same side to loosen the neck muscles.

When your head is tilted to one side for long periods of time such as sleeping, you temporary put pressure on the neck spinal nerve. This nerve compression usually resolves with minimal damage. But when you have a pinched nerve and you experience pain for more than a few days without improvement in your neck range of motion you’ll want to be sure to be checked out by a professional. In the meantime, you’ll want to be sure you avoid aggressive neck exercises or movements in general to avoid causing more pain.

One treatment that can help a pinched nerve is cervical traction. This can be done sitting or lying down. A trained physical therapist can provide relieve with this manually and being able to increase your neck range of motion as well as decrease the pain. When successful treatments are done manually and the symptoms persist, mechanical traction is another option that is provided in physical therapy. This treatment is effective to relieve the pressure of the nerve and should be followed up with neck exercises.

The mechanical traction may not always be covered with your health insurance and you’ll want to be sure before this treatment covered before it is provided to you. Many insurance companies will pay but you’ll want to make sure when you have an appointment.

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Jaw Open Facial Neck Exercise

Do you ever feel the sides of your head near your jaw tight?
Ever feel the head and face tension that may begin to feel as a headache? Do
you ever lose focus or concentration because you feel your pulse on the side of
your head? Try some simple jaw open facial neck exercise to help relieve head
and face tension.

This is a follow up from the open mouth jaw neck exercises,
instead of just opening your mouth up and down, this jaw open neck exercise
will be over your top lip. This will also help your chin muscles to tighten up.
The focus on this jaw open facial neck exercise is to also massage the side of
your face to relieve tension.

The facial muscles that are being used are the masseter,
temporalis and the platysma. The platysma is the big front neck muscles that
will be strengthen in this jaw open facial neck exercise. The masseter muscle
is responsible for chewing and movement of your jaw. The temporalis muscle on
the side of the face also helps with the jaw movement.

This jaw open facial neck exercise can be done sitting,
standing or even lying down. The main focus of this neck exercise is to relax
the jaw muscles on the side of your head to prevent or reduce jaw tension. You
may find that by the end of the day or while you are sleeping that your jaw is
clenched. This causes muscle tightness and can cause headaches.

Here while sitting let your bottom jaw open up and now close
your mouth. Don’t clank your teeth when you close your mouth. Now open your
mouth up again and take your first two fingers and run them up along the side
of your head. First start from the top of your jaw and end at the top of your
head. Do this jaw open facial neck exercise 10 times and repeat up to three
times.

There should be no neck, face or jaw pain with any neck
exercises
. At the end of this jaw open facial neck exercise, you should feel
relief not only in the jaw but the side of your face as well. If you continue
to have pain, put some ice on the side and behind the head. Try this new jaw
open facial neck exercise and let me know how this does for you.

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Arm Swing Up Neck Exercise

Want to know a good neck exercise to do on a break? Or a neck exercise to help with your posture? Maybe you would like to know a simple neck exercise to maintain shoulder range of motions? All of these can be done with the arm swing up neck exercise. 

This arm swing up neck exercise will work on various parts of your body. In the front, your chest muscles or pectoralis major and minor will be stretched. When you arms are raised up, you’ll be squeezing your shoulder blades together to strengthen the rhomboids. You will be keeping your chin aligned with your shoulders and that will prevent the forward head position. All of these positions will help with your posture to keep you upright. 

This arm swing up should be an easy neck exercise to do to help relax your shoulder and neck muscles. You want to relax your shoulders by keeping your shoulders down when raising your arms. This will limit the upper trapezius muscle from bringing your shoulders up towards your ears. This neck exercise will also help reduce neck tension.

You can do this arm swing up neck exercise sitting or standing. Standing will be described here. You will have greater range of motion and feel the effects of the neck exercise better when standing. If you may lose balance, you can start off this arm swing up neck exercise sitting. Let’s begin!

Standing Position:

  • Feet shoulders width apart
  • Knees slightly bent
  • Stand up tall
  • Chest up and towards the wall
  • Relax your arms by your side
  • Bring your chin back towards your shoulders
  • Relax your jaw
  • Look straight ahead

Arm Swing Up Neck Exercise:

  • Breathe in
  • Bring your palms together in front of you
  • Raise your arms up towards the ceiling
  • Keep your elbows straight
  • If you can go past your ears great
  • Breathe out
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together
  • Hold for 10 seconds 
  • Lower your arms slowly back to start
  • Repeat 10 times

There should be no pain or discomfort with this arm swing up neck exercise. The motion should be smooth, slow and controlled. You may feel different areas being stretched when your arms are at the top. You want to be sure you don’t lean forward while doing this neck exercise. Other neck exercises will be described at a later time. 

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Head Mobility Neck Exercise

Feel like you have been nodding your head a lot? No, not of nodding off to sleep head nod but more like the head nod yes. Head nods are great for head and neck mobility. They are also good as a neck exercises. The simple motion of bringing your head forward and back keeps your neck flexible.

The neck exercise is an extension of a head nod by adding a roll part. The forward head roll will increase neck mobility and flexibility. This neck exercise will keep the neck muscle from becoming stiff and tense. When your neck muscles are flexible, they will be less likely to cause a headache in the back of the neck.

This head nod and roll neck exercise will focus on the motion itself and stretch the back neck muscles. This head mobility neck exercise will be described in sitting but can also be done standing. The simple motions can be done throughout the day.

Sitting Position:

  • Have your feet flat on the floor
  • Rest your hands on your lap
  • Relax your shoulders
  • Retract your chin towards your shoulders
  • Be sure to keep you chin parallel to the ground
  • Keep your eyes look straight ahead

Head Nod Neck Exercise:

  • Take a breath in
  • Bring your chin down towards your chest
  • Your eyes should be looking at the top of your thighs
  • Roll your head down and forward even more
  • Breathe out and hold for 10 seconds
  • Roll your head back up to the start
  • Breathe in
  • Tilt your head back 
  • Your eyes should be looking at the ceiling
  • Bring your lower lip over the top lip to feel a stretch in the front neck portion
  • Breathe out and hold for 10 seconds 
  • Return to starting position
  • Repeat 10 times

There should be no pain with this neck exercise. The head motions should be slow, smooth and controlled. You want to make sure your shoulders don’t rise towards your ears as you are tilting your head back. If you begin to get dizzy, don’t hold as long or go to the end of range of motion. Similar neck exercises will be described at a later time.

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Front Neck Exercise Toning

Are you feeling the front of your neck could use some toning
up? Tired of the double chin or the unpleasant increase in the neck area? Want
to do a quick and simple neck toning exercise? Then the front neck exercise toning
for the platysma muscle will be described.

Lately, I have been noticing the front of my neck and chin
area been being flabby. I noticed that after giving birth to my son nearly a
year ago that under my chin has not been as shapely as I would like. I have
decided it’s time for a neck exercise that will tone the front of the neck and
under the chin.

The front neck exercise will tone the platysma muscle. This facial
expression neck muscle starts over the front of the neck and chest area and
ends along the bottom of the jaw. The platysma muscle is a big broad flat muscle
that is responsible in bringing the mouth down and draws the lower lip down. The
neck exercise toning will help to tighten this front neck muscle.

Toning the platysma will help reduce the double chin look.
While doing chin tuck neck exercises will bring the unsightly double chin
appearance they will help strengthen the neck muscles. Both of these neck
exercises will help your neck overall. This front neck exercise will be
described in sitting.

Sitting
Position:

·        
Feet flat on the floor

·        
Rest your hands on your lap or by your
side

·        
Relax your shoulders

·        
Bring your chin back towards your
shoulders like a chin tuck

·        
Relax your jaw

·        
Eyes looking straight ahead

Front Neck Exercise:
·        
Take a breath in
·        
Tilt your head back and have your eyes look up
at the ceiling
·        
Press the tip of your tongue on the roof of your
mouth
·        
Breathe out
·        
Bring your bottom lip up and over your top lip
·        
Repeat 10 times and do 3 sets
·        
Be sure to bring your head back to neutral after
each set

There should be no pain with this neck exercise. If you
begin to feel dizzy, don’t tilt your head back as much.  When doing this neck toning exercise, you
should feel the front neck muscle working as your lift your bottom lip over
your top lip. To feel more try bringing your lip out more by protruding your
bottom jaw towards the ceiling. Enjoy this quick neck muscle toning exercise.

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Sitting Face Clock Neck Exercise

Do you have stiff neck muscles from sitting too long in one position? Relieve neck muscle tension with the face clock neck exercise. This simple and basic neck exercise is great in keeping your neck flexible. The face clock is the same as the lying down head clock but just in a sitting position.

The face clock neck exercise focuses on the first two cervical (neck) vertebrae spine the atlas and the axis. The atlas holds your head and the axis allows your head and atlas to turn side to side. The axis also allows the head nod with controlled neck movements. These two cervical spines are what give your head the ability to go in all directions.

Let’s begin by sitting up straight in the chair.

Feet flat on the floor

Rest your hands on your lap or by your side

Relax your shoulders

Bring your chin back towards your shoulders like a chin tuck

Eyes looking straight ahead

Face Clock Neck Exercise:

Take a breath in and have your nose go towards the 12 o’clock position

Go through each number on the clock and slowly breathe out

Let the tip of your nose be the clock hand and 

Keep your eyes open and follow the direction your nose points to

Repeat 10 times clockwise and 10 counter clockwise.

Start with small head circle movements and then to large head circle movements. All neck movements and neck exercises should be done in a pain free zone. The face clock neck exercise motion should be slow and controlled. If you begin to feel dizzy go stop and then go slow.

The head and neck motion should make your neck muscles more mobile and flexible. There shouldn’t be any pull in the neck muscles in any direction. This face clock neck exercise and other neck exercises should relieve neck tension. The standing face or head clock will be described at a later time.

Other neck pain relief exercises from the blog:

Shoulder rolls

Neck Range of Motion

Upper Trapezius Stretch

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Neck Exercise: Deep Neck Flexors Strengthening

Do you feel that your front neck muscles are weak? Here’s a quick neck exercise that you can do in the morning and evening. By doing the front neck exercise with the chin tucks will have a good neck workout. These neck exercises will help to strengthen the deep front neck muscles and help eliminate neck pain.

You can do this in any position – lying down, sitting or standing. I’ll tell you how to do them in sitting. Your starting position should be sitting up straight, feet flat on the floor, shoulders relaxed, head should be up, eyes looking straight ahead and the chin is parallel to the floor. Make loose fists and put your palms together. Your elbows will be bent and close to your body. Now place your fists under your chin.

Take a breath in and bring your chin towards your fists. Breathe out and hold the position for 10 seconds. Relax your chin by gently lifting off your fists. Repeat this neck exercise 10 times. Do this twice daily. 

You should feel the front neck muscles work and the back neck muscles begin to stretch. There should be no pain when you do these neck exercises. Be careful not to clench your teeth or push really hard on the bottom jaw. Your fists should just match the resistance of your chin and not over power the chin.

Try this neck exercise now and feel release from neck tension. This neck exercise will help with posture and the looks of the front of the neck. This will help you from having a forward head posture that causes neck pain. 

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Neck Exercises: Shoulder Blade Pinches

I will assume that you are reading this while at the computer. I will also assume that more than likely your shoulders and your chin are forward towards the screen. Since most of our days consist of everything in front of us – using the computer, driving, cooking, etc, there are very few things that we do towards the back of us (putting on a belt, bra hooking, etc). We will do a simple neck exercise that will stretch the chest muscles and strengthen the muscles in the back. This neck exercise is called shoulder blade pinches also known as scapular pinches.

This simple neck exercise will help correct the forward head and forward rounded shoulders. This neck exercise will be described in a sitting position. Start with by sitting up straight, feet flat on the floor, your arms hanging by your side with the palms towards you, head up and eyes level, and perform a chin tuck. Take a breath in and while maintaining a chin tuck position, bring your shoulders towards the back of the chair. You want to bring your shoulder blades close together in a pinching like motion. Breathe out. Hold this position for 10 seconds and slowly bring your shoulders forward back to the starting position. Repeat this 10 times.

There should be no pain with this neck exercise. You may feel a slight stretch in the chest area while bringing your shoulder blades together. This neck exercise will begin to strengthen the shoulder blade muscles in the back to help with an upright posture. This position will also help with breathing, letting your lungs have a bigger capacity to bring oxygen to your muscles and brain.

This neck exercise combined with the chin tuck, shoulder rolls, shoulder shrugs, neck active range of motions will be just the beginning of a neck workout program. These neck exercises will help with correct posture and reduce tension in the neck and surrounding muscles. All of these neck exercises should be done on a daily basis to maintain flexibility in the neck. The progression of this neck exercise will described at a later time. 

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 Isometric Neck Exercises: Basic Neck Strengthening

What exactly are isometric neck exercises? Isometric neck exercises are head exercises that only require your hands for strengthening your neck muscles. Isometric exercises are the very basic strengthening exercises to help build endurance to the muscle. The isometric neck exercises will help protect the vital throat and surrounding structures. Isometric exercises will recruit muscles in order to strengthen without pain or movement.

There are different ways to do isometric neck exercises and with various positions. I will describe the sitting isometric neck exercises in a “neutral” position. Neutral position meaning the head is aligned with the shoulders, looking straight ahead with no tilt in any directions. In other words, perform a sitting chin tuck. A neutral position will train your neck muscles while in good posture.

Start by sitting in a supportive chair and sit straight up. Keep your feet flat on the floor, relax your shoulders, look straight ahead and perform a chin tuck. This position will be the starting positions for all of the isometric neck exercises described here. I will describe the four basic isometric neck exercises: forward, backwards, sideways and rotation.

Isometric Neck Exercise: Front neck muscles (Neck Flexors) 

Begin with starting position. Place the palm of your non-dominant hand on the top of your forehead. Take a deep breath in through the nose. Have your forehead match the resistance of your palm. Breathe out slowly through your mouth to the count of 10. Repeat 10 times.

Isometric Neck Exercise: Back of the neck (Neck Extensors) 

Repeat the starting position. Place both hands behind the top of your head. Take a breath in. Be sure to press the back of your head against your hands and breathe out. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.

Isometric Neck Exercise: Side bending (Neck Lateral Flexors) 

Start with your palm up against the top of your right side of your head. This is also known as the temple area. Take a breath. Have your head match the resistance on the right side without bringing your ear towards the shoulder. Breathe out to 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times. Switch sides to work your left side.

Isometric Neck Exercise: Rotation (Neck Rotators) 

Same as the side bending neck exercises but avoid your right side of your head to turn right. You can also place your left hand on the top of your right head to avoid turning. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.

No movement in any direction should take place in any of these isometric neck exercises. Be sure to continuously breathe. Holding your breath will cause an increase in your blood pressure that can result in becoming dizzy or lightheaded. There should be no pain in any neck exercises. When isometric neck exercises are performed as a daily neck workout results should be seen in a matter of weeks. Isometric exercises are the beginning and not functional exercises. Other isometric neck exercises will be described at a later time.

Here’s a quick history on how isometric exercises started:

  • What Is Isometric Exercises ? – Tags: bodybuilding methods, exercise, exercises, green bay packers, Isometric exercises, Isometrics, max planck institute, professional sports teams, What is isometric exercises. Filed under Isometric exercises, Isometrics by Admin # …

 

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