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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!

Alphabet Neck Exercises

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.

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Baby Head Up Neck Exercises

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
at us.

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!

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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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