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!