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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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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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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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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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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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Neck Exercises while Gaming

Gaming ChairEver get neck stiffness or soreness after playing video games for long periods of time? Do you notice yourself leaning forward towards the television and looking up at the screen? Ever notice your shoulders are rounded while gripping the controller? Has it crossed your mind to have good sitting posture or do neck exercises while playing games? I will assume that the answers to these questions would be “No.”

After I put my 1 year old son to bed, I may play console games to relieve the day’s stress or to get rid of a headache. When I play video games, I’m either using the game chair or on the bean bag. I have found that using the gaming chair has improved my posture and eliminates the forward head and rounded shoulders position. I also do quick and simple neck exercises while games are loading.

In order to make sure that you or your kids have good posture, be sure that you are sitting back and leaning forward. When the knees are crossed, the elbows are usually on top of them while the head will be looking up at the screen. After hours of this position, your neck and other areas of your body probably will be stiff or sore from lack of movements. Just know that gaming chairs can provide a health benefit of sitting correctly and reduce neck tension or strain. Even if you don’t have a gaming chair, sitting up properly will help reduce any neck strain.

When waiting for any game to load, try to do the following simple neck exercises: chin tucks, shoulder rolls, shoulder shrugs, shoulder blade pinches, head range of motions and upper trapezius stretches. Other neck exercises you can do are head clocks, rotations, side bends and neck extensor stretch. Just think you can do a neck workout and help your neck to a better neck posture while playing games.

These are quick neck exercises and most you can do within a minute or two. It’s even better if you can do the chin tuck while playing the game. By brining your chin back towards the chair or the wall behind you, you can strengthen the front and stretch the back of your neck muscles. Combining any of the neck exercises will help keep neck tension from building when playing.

One tip is to don’t clench your teeth or let your shoulders rise towards your ears when playing. These motions will make your head and neck tensed. Now there’s no excuse for not having any time to do neck exercises when I’ve just mentioned how you can do them when playing. Have fun playing games and don’t forget to do neck exercises!

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Hands on Head Scapular Retraction Neck Exercises

Today I was felt tight in the chest and not as strong in the mid back as I was working on the computer. So, I decided on my break from typing that I was going to work on my rhomboids and pectoralis muscles. I always liked to put my hands on top of my head and squeeze my shoulder blades together. This is today’s neck exercises

Scapular retractions are another shoulder blade pinches neck exercises. Opening up the chest area will help to improve the posture and breathe easily. These neck exercises will also reduce neck tension, loosen up the front muscles and strengthen the mid back muscles. Overall, these neck exercises should reduce stress in the upper neck and shoulder areas.

Today’s neck exercises is great to do for a break while sitting in front of the computer, desk or even at a stop light. You can also perform these neck exercises standing, lying down or even on those big swiss balls. When these exercises for neck are combined with stretch exercises like the upper trapezius, they become a great neck workout for the day. Let’s begin while you are sitting in front of the computer. 

Sitting Position:

  • Feet flat on the floor
  • Sit up tall
  • Have your arms by your side
  • Relax your shoulders
  • Bring your chin back towards your shoulders like a chin tuck
  • Eyes looking straight ahead and above the computer screen

 

Hands on Head Scapular Retraction Neck Exercises:

 

  • Start by clasping your hands together
  • Raise your hands and place your palms behind the top of your head
  • Your elbows will be pointing at the opposite wall
  • Press your head against your hands
  • Breathe in
  • Bring your elbows backwards
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds
  • Breathe out
  • Repeat 10 times
  • Repeat this 3-4 times a day

 

There should be no pain or discomfort with these neck exercises. You should feel a stretch when opening up your chest with your elbows. You should feel the mid back muscles working when squeezing your shoulder blades together. You should also feel your neck muscles working and strengthening with the chin tuck.

Be sure that you continue to breathe throughout these neck exercises. You want to make sure that your shoulders are relaxed and not raised up. Make sure that you are not clenching your teeth while doing these neck exercises. Avoid pressing too hard with your hands up against your head. The point is to match the resistance of your head not to overpower your neck muscles. There will be similar neck exercises described at a later time with this position.

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Neck Workout When Driving

Ever feel neck and shoulder stiffness when driving? The other day when my husband was driving, he mentioned to me that his shoulders felt stiff and that his neck hurt. I turned to evaluate his driving position. After 20 minutes of driving, my husbands’ hands were at the 10 and 2 o’clock positions with his shoulders raised and rounded in, his left arm propped on the window sill, seat slightly reclined with back rounded, his head and chin forward. Does this look and sound familiar to you? Try doing a neck workout to avoid discomfort.

Proper posture while driving will relieve tension in the neck, shoulders, arms and back. Avoid resting your elbow on the window sill; this will prevent your shoulders rising towards your ears and turning in towards your chest. Instead, have your elbows near your sides and bring your hands down closer to 9 and 3 o’clock positions. The easiest correction in driving is to sit without slouching – this will avoid the forward head and chin and eliminate neck and back pain. When doing various neck exercises and stretch exercises while driving, the neck workout will loosen your muscles and reduce tension in them.

When you are driving for longer than 20 minutes at a time, be sure to take breaks to avoid neck or back pain discomfort. Sounds silly to keep stopping every 20 minutes to take a break but it is good for your health. When you are not able to, try the following neck exercises to help alleviate neck pain, stiffness and tension. I’ll focus on the head, neck and shoulders for you to do a neck workout when driving.

Let’s begin your neck workout!

Head:

Bring your head and chin back towards the headrest x 10 times

Try to maintain this chin tuck position while driving and don’t forget to breathe!

Be sure not to clench your teeth

Neck:

Nod your head up towards the roof and down towards the floor while continuing to look straight ahead on the road x 10 times

Turn your head left towards the outside mirror and turn right towards the passenger side while maintaining your stare forward x 10 times

Bring your right ear towards your right shoulder and then your left ear towards your left shoulder while still staring in front of you x 10 times

Shoulders:

Raise the top of your shoulders towards your ears x 10 times

Pinch your shoulder blades together in the back x 10 times

Roll your shoulders forward and then backwards x 10 times

Repeat all neck exercises at least once every 20 minutes. This neck workout is a quick summary of previous neck exercises posted on the blog. There should be no pain or discomfort when doing any exercises for neck. Remember to always keep your eyes on the road and drive safely! 

When not driving, check these other neck exercises to do:

Release Tension with Shoulder Neck Exercises

Shoulder Blade Neck Exercises

Chin Down Semi Circle Neck Exercises

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Behind the Head Stretch Exercises

Ever feel the back of your neck tight while looking down? Are you able to bring your chin towards your chest without pain? Here’s a good neck exercise to do for the back of the head. The neck extensor stretch exercises are great to loosen the small muscles in the back of the neck. This behind the head stretch exercises is also good for those who golf and want to be able to look down at the ball without pain.

This neck extensor stretch with the following lower cervical / upper thoracic and bicep / chest stretch exercises are a great neck exercises warm up. For a more complete neck workout be sure to include the chin down semi circle, shoulder shrugs and neck rotations. These exercises for neck will make looking down easier and pain free.

The behind the head or neck extensor stretch exercises can be done sitting or standing. I’ll describe these behind the head stretch exercises standing. You want to stand upright with your feet shoulders width apart, knees slightly bent, your shoulders relaxed, bring your chin towards back for a chin tuck and look straight ahead. Interlock your fingers and place your palms on the top part of the back of your head. Your elbows should be open towards the front and pinch your shoulder blades together. 

Take a breath in and slowly exhale while bringing your chin towards your chest. As you bring your chin down, have your hands guide your head down. Let your elbows come in towards your ears and let your shoulder blades separate from each other. Hold this position 30 seconds. Slowly bring your head back up and return to the starting position. Repeat this behind the head stretch exercises three times.

Be sure to keep your shoulders down while performing these stretch exercises otherwise you will lose the tension in the back of the neck. When you bring your head forward and down with your hands do so gently without straining the back of the neck. You should feel tension behind your head and neck release and dissipate. There should be no pain with any neck exercises or stretch exercises. 

Try this neck extensor stretch exercises and see if this improves your golf game. At the very least, you should be able to relieve neck tension and keep your neck flexible. I’ll describe other neck exercises to help with the golf game later on.

 

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Chin Down Semi Circle Neck Exercises

Ever feel the back of your neck tight? Maybe you even feel neck stiffness. Neck tension in the back of your head and shoulders could lead to muscle fatigue and neck pain. The neck extensor and upper trapezius muscles when tight will raise your shoulders towards your ears. Doing chin down semi circle neck exercises with other exercises for neck will help relieve neck tension. This neck exercise is similar to the head circles to help with neck range of motion.

The emphasis of chin down semi circle neck exercises is help with the deep neck extensor muscles be flexible. There are little neck muscles along the spine that connects from the base of the head and along the spine at various levels. These small neck muscles help with your neck range of motion. This neck exercise will also focus on the main neck extensors muscles for stretching and strengthening.

This chin down semi circle neck exercises will be described while sitting down. The key in these neck exercises is to have good posture. Be sure to sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor. Relax your hands in your lap and be sure your shoulders are down. Your chest should be pointing towards the wall while bringing your chin towards the back of your shoulders as a chin tuck. Your eyes start off by looking straight ahead.

Take a breath in and bring your chin down towards your chest while still maintaining your chin tuck. You should start to feel the back of your neck feeling a stretch. Your eyes should be looking towards the top of your knees. While maintaining your chin towards your chest, roll your left ear towards your left shoulder and hold for 10 seconds. You should feel a stretch feeling on the right side of your neck and the back of your neck.

Breathe out and semi circle roll your head towards the right shoulder. You will feel a stretch on the left side of your neck. Remember to keep your shoulders down for these neck exercises. Hold for 10 seconds and roll towards the left shoulder. Repeat this chin down semi circle neck exercises 10 times.

Doing these neck exercises as well as other stretch exercises will keep your neck from being stiff or tense. Combine this chin down semi circle with shoulder shrugs and the upper trapezius towel pull down stretch as a neck workout. Other neck tension neck exercises will be described at a later time.

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