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.
Tonight from the Olympics there was an unfortunate death in the luge practice run. If you have seen the video of the incident it was a split second from life to death. The luger athlete wore a helmet but even with that it didn’t protect the neck. I’m not sure of all the injury the unfortunate luger athlete had but at the end position where his neck was flexed forward was not good.
As you can tell, even the most trained athlete can have devastating injuries. I caution you that a good strong neck from doing neck exercises can protect the spinal cord, spinal column and the spine itself. The neck can be injured quite quickly and damaging when the neck is not strengthened. Neck injuries can occur on any side with life threatening results.
In a previous post that I wrote on why you need strong neck muscles – Stafon Johnson the USC football player sustained a crushing front throat neck injury. His throat and neck muscles where strong and protected him from death because of doing neck exercises. Compare this injury to the way the luger athlete where his neck was bent forward might have sustained a whiplash, concussion and back of the neck injury amongst other bodily injuries.
Although, we may not participate in hard core sports – doing neck exercises in general still help to keep your neck strong. You also want your neck to be responsive and cushion any injury blow at the neck. The different neck exercises described throughout the blog should help to keep your neck healthy. Try different neck exercises out every day to protect your neck. You only have one neck – be good and stay healthy. My prayers go to the luge athlete’s family, friends and the other Olympic athletes.
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.
Today, I was reciting the alphabet to my one year old son
and he was moving his head to what I was saying. Usually he shakes his head “no”
or throws his head back but today he was moving his head in all directions. So,
his head movements to the alphabet made me think of doing these head movements
for neck exercises to do to release neck tension.
I usually give the alphabet exercise for people with ankle
or leg discomfort but only now I think of giving these as neck exercises. Just
like in the ankle, doing the alphabet neck exercises will maintain neck flexibility
and neck range of motion. These alphabet neck exercises will help loosen up any
neck stiffness and reduce neck muscle tightness.
The alphabet neck exercises can be done anywhere, any time
and in any position whether sitting, standing or lying down. These neck
exercises can be great for when you need a break from being at the computer too
long or even stuck in traffic. Or these can be great to get kids to work on
their neck flexibility as well with you. Let’s start!
Alphabet Neck Exercises:
- Using the tip of your nose as a pen – print capital letters
of the alphabet
- Now repeat doing lower case
- Then draw the alphabet in cursive
- Repeat three times each
These alphabet neck exercises should be slow, smooth and
controlled motions. There should be no pain or discomfort in any neck
direction. Be sure to breathe throughout the whole time. Avoid clenching your
jaw with these head movements. Enjoy doing these alphabet neck exercises and
let me know how you feel after trying them out.
I was talking to my husband tonight while eating dinner and
he joking mentioned about writing “baby neck exercises.” I looked at our son
and said “I know you’re joking but that sounds like a good topic tonight.” Our
son came out with his head up and now always likes to throw his head back. Over
a year later, our son inadvertently does neck exercises every time he looks up
We first started working on his neck muscles after he was
born. We would put him on the Boppy pillow and get him to raise his head up. I
also had him work on the head up or neck extension neck exercises while he was
on his stomach on the bed. These were easy head up neck exercises for our son.
We just kept increasing the amount of time to have him build his endurance.
One way you can work on a baby’s neck muscles is to practice
how high the baby can raise the head up. You can start off the head up neck
exercises with barely off the bed/floor (like the picture); then increase to an inch off the
floor; then a couple inches off the floor. You can try to increase the neck
range of motion and endurance with any upper body support for the baby.
Another way to help get the baby to raise the head up and do
neck exercises is to gently stroke the back. You want to stroke with your palm
starting from the neck and all down the back. This will help facilitate the
baby’s neck and back muscles to work on neck and back extension. This is a
simple trick to do for head up neck exercises.
Babies are not too young to have benefits of strong neck
muscles by doing head up neck exercises. These neck exercises could help the
baby be sure to lift the head while sleeping and avoid the sudden infant death
syndrome (SIDS) as much as possible. Other baby neck exercises will be
described at a later time. Enjoy looking up!
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!
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
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.
What is a proper neck exercises routine? There’s no one way
for the right neck exercises routine. These neck exercises on the blog help
different areas of concern in the neck. What’s right for a stiff neck will vary
for someone who has neck pain. Please use these neck exercises on the blog as a
guide and to help relieve any neck discomfort you may have.
In general, a good routine will start off with a warm up of
doing range of motion neck exercises, stretch exercises for flexibility and end
with strengthening exercises for neck. A good way to start off would to let the
hot water from the shower warm your neck by bringing more blood flow to your
neck muscles. When your neck muscles are warm, they become more flexible and
give you greater neck range of motion.
The more neck range of motion you have, the more relaxed
your neck muscles are in the morning. When you have less neck tension, your
posture and jaw are relaxed. The benefits of neck exercises will improve your
posture as well as breathing mechanics. You will breathe bigger and easier than
When doing stretch exercises, these neck exercises will also
give you range of motion. These neck exercises will help you get a little more
range at the end of your motion. This will lengthen your muscles and give you
Once you perform these stretches, you want to strengthen
your neck muscles at the new range you have acquired. This will may sure that
you are able to use the full range with stability and less discomfort. After
strengthening, you want to cool down again by doing range of motion neck
If you become sore, putting ice or a cold pack will relieve
your neck discomfort. All neck exercises should be done in a slow, smooth and
controlled motion within your tolerance. There should be no pushing beyond your
discomfort level or you actually can hurt yourself.
Try some neck exercises and let me know which ones you do
and how well they work. One thing to keep in mind, is that these neck exercises
are meant to be part of your daily routine to help your health overall. So
enjoy and don’t forget to do some neck exercises once you are done reading this