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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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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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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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Neck Exercises Routines

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 tensed.

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
motion.

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
exercises.

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
post!

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A Night Time Neck Workout

Tonight as I was putting my 1 year-old son to bed after his
regular night time routine, I realized that we could all benefit from a night
time routine to reduce any stress from the day’s activities. Do you find that
after a busy day, your muscles in your neck feel tight, tired or stiff? Have
you ever thought about taking 10 minutes of your evening or night time to focus
on yourself and eliminate any stress that may have accumulated throughout the
day? No? How about starting one now?

Starting a night time routine that includes a simple neck
workout
can help to relieve the day’s stresses. How do you relieve some neck
tension, stress or muscle tightness? One of the easiest ways to reduce stress is
to breathe deeply and slowly, this is also known as diaphragmatic breathing.
You get the most oxygen for your muscles and brain. This will be described at a
later time.

Other ways to reduce neck stress are to take a warm bath, read
and do some neck exercises. A quick but thorough neck workout that includes neck
range of motion, flexibility, strengthening and stretch exercises are great to
reduce built up neck tension. A simple neck workout can also help improve your
posture.

Doing a neck workout can also benefit you to a good night
sleep. Be sure your neck is properly supported by a pillow to avoid any neck
pain when you wake up. Also be sure to avoid clenching your teeth at night, not
only does this keep your face and jaw muscles tight but can grind your teeth
and cause temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems. When you do strengthening
neck exercises, you can also tone your neck to avoid snoring at night.

On this blog there are many different neck exercises that
help with neck and head range of motions, stretch exercises to help with
flexibility and stress reduction and strengthening neck exercises. Other
exercises for neck include jaw and face as well as relief from headaches. With
these neck exercises to choose from, you can develop your own night time neck
workout
just for you. Let me know what works for you.

Do you have a night time routine that includes a neck workout? If so, share here and let us know what works. What are some other stress relieving methods you do?

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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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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: Head Nods with Stretch 

Want to be able to keep your shoulders from going forward and working on your neck muscles at the same time? How about doing some neck exercises that help with your neck and chest at the same time? Head nods with a chest stretch neck exercises will be able to loosen your neck muscles and open up your chest muscles. These neck exercises are good to help with your posture and improve your breathing. 

Opening up your chest by bringing your shoulders back will help you be able to breathe better. When you are leaning forward with your head and rounded shoulders, your diaphragm does not expand as much as it can. The chest muscles in these neck exercises that are being stretched out are the pectoralis minor and major. 

The head nods of the neck exercises work on strengthening the front neck muscles and stretching out the back neck muscles. By working both the front and back of your neck, you can improve your neck posture. These head nods neck exercises will also help relieve neck tension. 

These head nods and chest stretch neck exercises can be done sitting or standing. These head nods neck exercises can also be done on the big stability balls or swiss balls for an added challenge. I’ll describe these head nods and chest stretch neck exercises in a sitting position. These neck exercises won’t work with regular chairs with backs or arm rests. You can try these head nods with chest neck exercises on a bed or a bench. Let’s begin!

Sitting Position:

  • Feet flat on the floor
  • Sit up tall 
  • Bring your chest up and out towards the wall across from you
  • Relax your shoulders 
  • Perform a chin tuck by bringing your chin back towards your shoulder blades
  • Have your eyes looking straight ahead
  • Your jaw should be relaxed

Head Nods and Chest Stretch Neck Exercises:

  • Breathe in
  • Bring your hands behind your back
  • Put your palms together and intertwine your fingers together 
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together
  • Breathe out

Head Nod to the Right

  • Breathe in
  • Turn your head to the right
  • Raise your head up and lower you head down
  • Repeat 10 times
  • Release your hands
  • Breathe out

Head Nod in Neutral

  • Breathe in
  • Put your hands together like before
  • Turn your head back to the middle
  • Do 10 head nods
  • Relax your hands
  • Breathe out

Head Nod to the Left

  • Breathe in
  • Clasp your hands together
  • Turn your head to your left shoulder
  • Do 10 head nods
  • Relax your hands and shoulders

These head nods and chest stretch neck exercises should be pain free. Do these head nods slow, controlled and smooth motions. You may feel a stretching feeling in the front of your chest. You also want to make sure you are not leaning forward otherwise you will lose the stretch in the chest muscles. Be sure that you keep your mouth closed during these head nods otherwise you will lose the effect of the stretching of the neck muscles. After these head nods neck exercises are done you should feel less neck tension and neck your posture should be better. Other neck exercises will be described at a later time.

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