Neck strengthening exercises can preserve the range of motion and elasticity in the neck joints. These exercises can relieve stiffness and pain. It is best to do neck strengthening exercises every day. These can easily be accomplished while sitting or standing. Here are a couple of neck strengthening exercises you can do at your desk or at home.
This may not be an exercise, but more like awareness. It is very important to keep track of your posture while sitting and standing. With many people looking down on their phones while walking and seated, be aware of how your posture is. Make sure your neck is up and not slouched. Notice any tension in the neck and relax your neck muscles. Make sure your shoulders are rolled back to a comfortable posture. Shoulder posture plays a major role in neck tension.
This chin to the chest movement can only be felt if you have correct posture. Make sure your shoulders are rolled back and you’re standing straight. Drop your chin down to your chest and hold for about 10 seconds. Follow this up by lifting your chin towards the ceiling until it is resting on your upper shoulders. Hold for approximately 10 seconds. This will allow the front and back of you neck to receive a wonderful stretch. This can be performed sitting or standing.
This neck exercise requires a side to side motion. With proper posture, tilt your head to one side. Think of an ear to shoulder motion. Do not try to touch your shoulder with your ear. This will cause unnecessary strain. You should feel a stretch on the opposite side of the neck. Hold for about 10-20 seconds. Repeat on the other side. This is a great movement to stretch the vertebrae.
Rotation involves looking to the left and right. Some methods include looking down, up, left and right. The neck rotation warms up the small muscles that are involved in head movement and stability. For the left and right motion, avoid dropping your chin. Stand up straight and rotate your face to one side. Hold for a stretch. Do the same for the other side. For the full rotation stretch, look down, roll your head to the right, then back (touching your upper back), over to the left and back down again. Hold each stretch for 5-10 seconds.
Protraction and Retraction
This exercise involves stretching the lower cervical spine. Always begin with proper posture. Protrude your head forward leading with the chin, then backward. This motion will allow your suboccipital muscles to be stretched and relaxed
If you spend most of your day sitting at a desk, try these simple neck strengthening exercises. You may be surprised at how refreshed you may feel.