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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!

Towel Wrap Neck Workout

Tonight after washing up, I wrapped a bath towel around my hair and put it up on top of my head. My 1 year old son thought it looked funny on me and started to pull on the mummy towel wrap on my head. This began a game of dodge the little hands at the towel while moving my head and neck. This made me do some exercises for neck and giving me a neck workout at the end of the whole ordeal.

If you are a woman know what I’m talking about as far as the head towel wrap on the top of your head, then you would know that it adds extra weight to your head. This added weight on the top of your head will give you a good neck workout by strengthening your neck muscles. This also makes you go slow to control the towel from unraveling and dropping it onto the floor. Going slow will let your muscle gain control and build neck muscle strength.

I did the head movements back and forth and side to side with the towel as a gentle neck workout. You can actually do a bunch of different neck exercises with the towel wrap on top of your head. For example, leave the towel wrap on your head while brushing your teeth and do a chin tuck when you are over the sink. You may feel a bit more resistance in the back of your neck when doing this neck exercise. This would be a good neck workout in the morning or evening after taking a shower or bath.
See if you can do a face or head clock with the towel on your head or even try some upper trapezius stretch exercises as part of your now towel wrap neck workout. Get creative and see what you can do with this added resistance as a morning or evening neck workout. You can maintain neck flexibility along with the neck strengthening.

As always, there should be no pain with any neck exercises or sudden movements. I don’t recommend whipping your head around to make you dizzy as a neck workout. Have fun and let me know about your new routine with the towel wrap.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Neck Flexor Stretch Exercises

Ever feel that the front of your neck may need stretching? Are you looking up at the ceiling a lot? Do you ever lean back in your chair and bring your head back to look up at the ceiling? Why not add front neck stretch exercises to your daily routine? Doing neck flexor stretch exercises will help to relieve neck tension and keep your head flexible. 

Not sure if you have the time to do stretch exercises in your day? I’m pretty sure you do the motions of bringing your head back, now just add a bit of pressure as part of neck exercises. So simple to do and no one knows you are actually doing a stretch. These stretch exercises can’t get any easier than this.

The front neck muscles that are used in these stretch exercises are the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) and scalene. These two front neck muscles help to bring your chin towards your chest. The neck muscles that help bring the head back are longissimus capitis, semispinalis capitis and splenius capitis. These are small neck muscles in the back and side of your head. 

These neck flexors or front neck muscle stretch exercises can be done sitting or standing. Some may feel these stretch exercises more when sitting. The reason being is that when looking up, you are not worried about losing your balance and falling backwards. I’ll describe these neck flexor stretch exercises in sitting. Let’s begin!

Sitting Position:

  • Feet flat on the floor
  • Sit up in the chair
  • Rest your hands by your side
  • Relax your shoulders
  • Be sure to bring your chin back towards your shoulders
  • Your eyes should be looking straight ahead

Neck Flexor Stretch Exercises:

  • Breathe in
  • Interlock your fingers together
  • Tilt your head back and have your chin point towards the ceiling
  • Place the palms of your hands on to your forehead
  • Press your hands gently down onto your head 
  • Breathe out
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Bring your head back to the starting position
  • Repeat 3 times

Be sure to avoid raising your shoulders with this neck exercise.  You also want to have you mouth closed for these stretch exercises. If your mouth is open, you will lose the effect of the stretch. There should be no pain with any stretch exercises. If you begin to feel dizzy, don’t tilt your head back as much. The standing position will be described at a later time. 

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