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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!

Diagonal Neck Exercises

Today, while driving, I was tilting my head to look up at the rear view mirror and then looked down to my left pants pocket to grab my wallet. I found that this movement loosen up my neck muscles and will be today’s quick neck exercises. These small movements work on the neck joints and facets.

The tilting of the head opens up the opposite side of the neck and relieves pressure off the cervical or neck joints. The diagonal movements help to keep your head and neck flexible. These diagonal neck exercises can also help with neck tension relief by making sure your neck muscles are loose.

There are two ways to do these diagonal neck exercises – one way is to tilt your head 45 degrees and move your head or to draw an ‘X’ with your nose. I’ll describe the diagonal neck exercise in just a moment and you can do them in sitting, standing, while at the computer or even driving, like I did.

Diagonal Neck Exercises:

  • Breathe in
  • Perform a chin tuck by bringing your chin towards your shoulder blades
  • Be sure to look straight ahead
  • Tilt your right ear towards your shoulders at a 45 degree angle
  • Maintain your glance straight ahead
  • With the tip of your nose – lead the head towards the top left corner of the ceiling
  • Then bring your nose and bring your head towards your right under arm
  • Breathe out
  • Have your eyes follow the direction up and to the corner, then down and in
  • Switch to the left and reverse the movements
  • Repeat each side 10 times

There should be no pain in any direction with these head and neck movements. These diagonal neck exercises should be slow, smooth and controlled. If you begin to get dizzy, avoid tilting your head as far. Be sure that your jaw is relaxed and that your shoulders are down to get the maximum effect. The ‘X’ neck exercises will be described at a later time. Enjoy and try these out.

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Figure 8 Neck Exercises

Early today, I was doing some neck exercises and remembered another quick and simple one to do. The figure 8 neck exercises will loosen up your neck muscles and joints. I have a twist to this neck exercise and that is to do the infinity symbol as well. These are great break neck exercises to do and will help relieve neck tension.
These figure 8 neck exercises will work on the first two neck or cervical spine joints. This can become a neck workout by combining these figure 8 neck exercises with chin tucks and jaw exercises. These movements will help strengthen your neck as well as keep your neck flexible.
These figure 8 and infinity neck exercises can be done in any position whether sitting, standing or lying down. In general, you want to have good posture to keep your neck aligned properly and to avoid any other tension. You will want to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Let’s begin!
Figure 8 Neck Exercises:

  • Breathe in
  • Perform a chin tuck by bringing your chin back towards your shoulder blades
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together as if you were pinching them together
  • Relax your jaw
  • Use the tip of your nose to draw the figure 8
  • Breathe out
  • Reverse the figure 8 direction
  • Now draw the infinity symbol with the tip of your nose
  • Reverse the infinity symbol
  • Do each direction 10 times each
  • Repeat for 3 sets

These figure 8 and infinity neck exercises will help keep your neck muscles from stiffening up after a long day. Do these and other neck exercises from this blog to maintain flexibility and less neck tension. Try these new neck exercises and let me know how your day goes!

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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 Up Wobble Neck Exercises

Would you like to know how to loosen up your neck after a
long day or even in the middle of the day? Want to be able to keep your neck
range of motions and muscles from tightening up? Ever feel you need to shake
your head from side to side? Try doing some head up wobble neck exercises to
loosen your neck muscles and joints.

These head up wobble neck exercises are similar to other
side to side (lateral flexion) neck exercises. The added motion of tilting your
head up while doing a head up wobble neck exercises will loosen up the sides of
your neck. The first couple of levels in the neck or cervical spine are the focus
of these head up wobbles neck exercises.

These head up wobble neck exercises are good for releasing
shoulder and neck tension. These neck exercises can be done sitting or
standing. I’ll describe these head up wobble neck exercises in sitting to avoid
any balance deficits. These can also be done on a ball or on the bed. Let’s
begin!

Sitting Position:

  • Feet flat on to the floor
  • Sit up tall
  • Bring your chest up and toward the facing wall
  • Relax your hands in your lap
  • Bring your shoulders down from your ears
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together
  • Perform a chin tuck by bring your chin back towards your
    shoulders
  • Relax your jaw, by keeping your lips together but teeth
    apart
  • Eyes looking straight ahead

Head Up Wobble Neck Exercises:

  • Breathe in
  • Tilt the top of your head back by 45 degrees
  • Have your eyes look up at the ceiling
  • Breathe out
  • Bring your left ear towards your left shoulder
  • Then tilt your right ear towards your right shoulder
  • Be sure that your head doesn’t twist away from the facing
    wall
  • Repeat 10 times

There should be no pain or discomfort with these head up
wobble neck exercises. Begin with slow, smooth and controlled motions. You can
start with small tilts and then big tilts to the side when your neck is warmed
up. Avoid clenching your teeth with these neck exercises. These head up wobble
neck exercises can be done a couple of times a day to keep your neck range of
motion and limited neck tension. Other neck exercises will be described at a
later time.

 

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Various Chin Tucks Neck Exercises

Do you ever catch yourself with your neck and chin out forward? Want to strengthen the front of your neck and stretch the back of your neck? Are you just tired of doing regular chin tucks? How about trying doing the chin tucks in different angles and directions for your neck exercises? By doing chin tuck neck exercises, you will relieve both shoulder and neck tension.  

What are chin tucks? Chin tucks are where you bring your chin back, sort of like a drawer being closed shut. Isn’t a chin tuck just a chin tuck?  It’s true that a chin tuck is just a chin tuck but by doing them in different directions you can also work on your overall neck posture. When you strengthen a neck muscle, just like any other strength training, you want to go through all of the range of motions for the neck. These chin tuck neck exercises are a great way to make sure your neck gets training in all areas.

I’ll describe chin tucks in sitting but you can choose to do them in standing as well. People may never know you are doing chin tuck neck exercises and they are simple to do. There are different directions I want you to think of, the up and down or nodding motion and the rotation or side to side motion. This chin tucks neck exercises will focus on both directions. 

For the up and down or nodding motion, think of 12 o’clock above the top of your head, 9 o’clock is your starting position looking forward and 6 o’clock is where you chest is. When you do the neck rotation motions, think of 12 o’clock your right shoulder, 9 o’clock is your starting position and 6 o’clock is your left shoulder. Let’s begin!

Sitting Position:

  • Feet flat on the floor
  • Sit up straight
  • Your chest up and facing the wall in front of you
  • Place your hands on your lap
  • Relax your shoulders
  • Perform a chin tuck by bringing your chin back towards your shoulder blades
  • Relax your jaw
  • Eyes look straight ahead

Nodding Chin Tucks Neck Exercises:

  • Breathe in
  • Tilt the top of your head back to 12 o’clock
  • Don’t let your mouth open when you tilt back
  • Bring your chin back towards your shoulder blades
  • Breathe out
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Breathe in
  • Return back to starting at 9 o’clock
  • Perform a regular chin tuck
  • Breathe out
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Breathe in
  • Bring your chin down towards your chest or 6’clock
  • Tuck your chin in towards your chest and up towards the ceiling
  • Breathe out
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Repeat these chin tucks for the 11 and then 7 o’clock positions
  • Then perform these chin tucks again for the 10 and 8 o’clock positions
  • Be sure after each motion to go back to the starting position
  • Repeat each direction 10 times

Neck Rotation Chin Tuck Neck Exercises:

  • Breathe in
  • Turn your head to your right shoulder to 12 o’clock 
  • Perform a chin tuck towards your left shoulder blade
  • Breathe out
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Breathe in
  • Return to the starting position at 9 o’clock
  • Bring your chin directly back to your shoulder blades
  • Breathe out
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Turn your head to your left shoulder towards 6 o’clock
  • Bring your chin back towards your right shoulder
  • Breathe out
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Return back to starting and go through the rest of the clock 11 and 7, 10 and 8
  • Repeat 10 times each

You should not feel any pain in any chin tuck neck exercises. You may begin to feel a burning like sensation in the back of your neck after all these chin tuck neck exercises. When you do these chin tucks neck exercises a few times a week, your overall neck muscle strength will increase. Your endurance to do these neck exercises will also increase. This chin tucks neck exercises will improve your overall neck posture and avoid postural related conditions. Other chin tuck neck exercises will be described at a later time.

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Neck Workout: Rotation and Clock

Do you ever feel stiff looking over your shoulders? Do you ever feel you need to do more than just turning your head to release neck tension? How about combining some neck exercises to give you more range of motion as a neck workout? Here I will talk about taking your neck rotation and adding a head or face clock. You can do these neck exercises through the whole range of your neck rotations.

Sometimes, just turning your head left or right doesn’t quite give you the relief you would like. I’ve added a new twist to the normal neck rotation neck exercise. The neck muscles that help rotate your head are: transversospinalis rotatores, splenius capitis, sternocleidomastoid (SCM) and levator scapula. The transversospinalis rotatores and SCM rotate the head to the opposite side where as splenius capitis and levator scapula rotate the head to the same side.

You can do this neck workout sitting or standing. I’ll describe the neck rotation and face clock in sitting. When doing the head or face clock portion of the neck exercise, think of 12 o’clock above your forehead, 3 o’clock your left ear, 6 o’clock below your chin and 9 o’clock your right ear. When doing the neck rotation, be sure to go as far as you are comfortable without any neck pain. Let’s begin!

Sitting Position:

  • Feet flat on the floor
  • Sit up tall
  • Your chest up and towards the wall in front of you
  • Do shoulder blade pinches by squeezing them together
  • Rest your hands in your lap
  • Drop your shoulders away from your ears
  • Perform a chin tuck by bring your chin back towards your shoulder blades
  • Relax your jaw
  • Eyes looking straight ahead

Neck Workout: Rotation and Clock

  • Breathe in
  • Lead with your nose and turn towards your right shoulder
  • Breathe out
  • Do a face clock by starting at 12 o’clock
  • Repeat 10 times
  • Reverse and go counter clockwise
  • Repeat 10 times
  • Breathe in
  • Turn your head to your left shoulder
  • Breathe out
  • Perform a face clock
  • Repeat 10 times
  • Reverse the direction and go counter clockwise
  • Repeat 10 times
  • Return your head back to the starting position
  • Repeat this neck workout 10 times

There should be no pain or discomfort with this neck workout. If you begin to feel dizzy, stop and avoid rotating all the way to your shoulder. After this neck workout, you should feel your neck looser. Any neck tension or stiffness should be less than when you first started. Other neck workouts will be described at a later time. Enjoy your neck workout today.  

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Over Head Triceps Stretch Exercises

When you are standing, do you ever feel you need to stretch the back of your arms or triceps? How about stretching the chest while you are bringing your arm up and over your head? Today, I’ll go over the over the head triceps stretch exercises.

These over head triceps stretch exercises not only help stretch the triceps out but works on improving your posture. These are good neck exercises as well for the chest muscles to improve your posture and reduce neck tension. Your neck can also feel relief when the upper trapezius muscles are relaxed with these stretch exercises.

These elbow extensors or triceps stretch exercises actually stretches more than just the triceps. When you bring your arm up and over your head, you actually stretch latissimus dorsi, teres major and minor and posterior deltoid. When you bring your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades, you actually stretch the pectoralis major and minor. These over head triceps stretch exercises are great for when you are taking breaks at the office or school.

These over head triceps stretch exercises can be done sitting or standing. When you do these sitting you have a good back support but may not feel the stretch as much. A compensation that is seen with these stretch exercises is to arch your back when you bring your arms back. You will have better control and balance when sitting. I’ll be describing these over head triceps stretch exercises in standing.

Standing Position:

  • Feet shoulder width apart
  • Knees slightly bent
  • Your pelvis tucked in where your tailbone is pointing to the opposite wall in front of you
  • Tighten your abs or stomach muscles as if there were a belt around you
  • Your chest up and pointing in the direction of the wall in front of you
  • Relax your shoulders
  • Perform a chin tuck where your chin is drawn back towards your shoulder blades
  • Relax your jaw
  • Keep your eyes level and straight ahead

Over Head Triceps Stretch Exercises:

  • Breathe in
  • Raise your right arm up so that your arm is near your right ear
  • Bend your right elbow and have your forearm go behind your head
  • Your right elbow should be pointing up towards the ceiling
  • Your right palm should try to reach towards your left shoulder blade
  • Take your left hand and place it on your right elbow
  • Breathe out
  • Gently bring your right elbow towards your left shoulder
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together
  • Relax your shoulders
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds
  • Repeat 3 times
  • Slowly bring your right arm back to the start position
  • Reverse directions to stretch your left triceps

You should feel a stretch feeling in your chest, triceps and in the back. There should be no pain or numbness or tingling while doing these stretch exercises. Be sure to keep your shoulders down with these neck exercises. After these over head triceps stretch exercises, you can do other neck exercises to reduce any neck tension or stiffness. When your chest is stretched out, you can keep your shoulders back and maintain good posture. Other triceps exercises will be described at a later time.

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Head Roll Downs Neck Exercises

Ever feel tight in the back of neck? Do you feel neck stiffness when looking down? How about doing a quick and simple head roll down neck exercises? These head roll downs are similar to the behind the head stretch exercises described in an earlier post. These head roll downs neck exercises will help reduce neck tension in the back of the neck.

The focus of these head roll downs neck exercises is to keep your neck mobile and flexible. The roll downs is to concentrate on each level of the cervical spine. There are seven cervical bones in your neck. The purpose of the head roll downs neck exercises is to open up the back of each cervical spine bones. By opening up the back of the cervical spine, you feel a stretch in the back of the neck.

I want you think of these head roll downs neck exercises where the tip of your chin is rolling over a ball underneath your chin. Your chin will be in a tucked position to start off with. You want to avoid the forward head position when starting this neck exercise. These head roll downs will be described in a sitting position but can be done standing as well.

Sitting Position:

  • Feet flat on the floor
  • Sit up straight
  • Have your hands relax in your lap
  • Relax your shoulders
  • You chest should be up and towards the wall you are facing
  • Perform a chin tuck by bringing your chin back towards your shoulder blades
  • Relax your jaw
  • Keep your eyes level and look straight ahead

Head Roll Downs Neck Exercises:

  • Breathe in
  • Tilt the tip of your chin towards your chest
  • Tuck your chin in towards your chest
  • Roll your head down 
  • Let your eyes follow your head down
  • Breathe out
  • Breathe in
  • At the end of the head roll, place your right hand on the top of your head
  • Bring your chin in more with your right hand rolling it towards your chest
  • You should feel a stretch in the back of the neck
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Breathe out
  • Slowly roll your head back to the starting position
  • Repeat this 10 times

There should be no pain when doing these head roll downs neck exercises. The key is to keep the motion as rolling over a ball. These movements should be slow, smooth and controlled. You should feel the stretch in the back of the neck the majority of the neck exercise. Be sure to avoid clenching your teeth or keeping your mouth open where you will lose the effect of these head roll neck exercises. Other neck exercises will be discussed at a later time.

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Neck Exercises: Front Arm Circles

 Ever feel the front of your chest and shoulders need loosening up? How about trying some neck exercises by doing arm circles? These arm circles neck exercises are focusing on the movement in the front of your chest. Think of arm circles as propellers of the airplane engines. These arm circle neck exercises movements will help loosen the shoulder and chest muscles.

When the shoulder and chest muscles are flexible, they are able to maintain good posture, mobility and good breathing mechanics. These front arm circles neck exercises are simple to do and great when waking up. The shoulder muscles that being focused are the rotator cuff muscles: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis. These shoulder muscles hold the shoulder in place.

The chest muscles that are being focused on are the pectoralis minor and major. These chest muscles attach to the shoulder and upper arm. By maintaining flexibility in the chest, you are able to maintain proper posture. The front arm circles neck exercises help to keep the chest flexible near the shoulder area. 

The front arm circles neck exercises can be done sitting or standing. I’ll describe them in standing. Give yourself plenty of room so you don’t hit anything or anyone! You’ll need your arm length for space on each side. Let’s get started!

Standing Position:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart
  • Knees slightly bent
  • Your pelvis tucked in
  • Be upright with your chest towards the wall in front
  • Relax your shoulders
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together
  • Do a chin tuck by bringing your chin towards the back of your shoulders
  • Look straight ahead

Front Arm Circles Neck Exercises:

  • Breathe in
  • Keep your arms straight
  • Starting from your left side – raise your left arm 
  • Lead with your thumb and your palm facing away from you
  • Make a clock circle with your left arm
  • Breathe out
  • Breathe in
  • Start with your right arm at the side
  • Raise your right arm up
  • Lead with your right thumb and your palm facing away from you
  • Make a counter clock circle with your right arm
  • Breathe out
  • Count to 10 with each circle
  • Repeat 10 times on each side

There should be no pain with these arm movements. These front arm circle neck exercises should be done in a slow, smooth and controlled motion. You should feel looser in the arms, neck and shoulders after these neck exercises. You should feel less shoulder and neck tension. Other arm circles will be described at a later time.

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Hands on Shoulders Neck Workout

Happy New Year’s to everyone! Today, let’s do quick hands on shoulder neck workout. The hands on shoulder neck workout will consist of raises, squeezes and circles. Most of these hands on shoulder neck workout are variations of previous neck exercises. These exercises for neck will give you a relaxing start to the New Year. 

The series of hands on shoulder neck exercises will help loosen up the upper trapezius muscles. The upper trapezius muscles are attached from the base of your head or skull to the top of your shoulders. The other neck muscles that will be used in this neck workout are the rhomboids and levator scapulae. The rhomboids will help to squeeze the shoulder blades together and the levator scapulae will help raise your shoulder blade up. 

This neck workout should help with neck tension and shoulder stiffness. You can do them standing or sitting. I’ll describe the hands on shoulders neck workout standing. 

Standing Position:

  • Feet shoulders width apart
  • Knees slightly bent
  • Stand straight up
  • Relax your shoulders
  • Perform a chin tuck where your chin is brought back towards your shoulders
  • Your eyes should be level and looking straight ahead

Hands on Shoulder Neck Workout:

Starting Position:

  • Raise your hands 
  • Place the tips of your fingers on top of your shoulders
  • Your elbows should be pointing out away from your side

Raises:

  • Breathe in
  • Bring your shoulders up towards your ears
  • Breathe out
  • Lower your shoulders down 
  • Repeat 10 times

Squeezes:

  • Breathe in
  • Bring your elbows back towards your shoulder blades
  • Breathe out
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Bring your elbows towards your chest
  • Repeat 10 times

Circles:

  • Breathe in
  • Circle the tips of your elbows clockwise
  • Breathe out
  • Repeat 10 times
  • Breathe in
  • Now circle the tips of your elbows counter clockwise
  • Breathe out
  • Repeat 10 times

All these hands on shoulder neck exercises are a great neck workout for breaks. This neck workout should be pain free. All these exercises for neck should be done in slow, smooth and controlled motions. Remember to breathe with each neck exercise and avoid clenching your jaw. Other hands on shoulder neck exercises will be described later. Have a good day!

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