Neck workouts: 10 exercises to relieve pain and improve posture

Health

Long-term computer work often leads to neck pain. We tell you how to get rid of the unpleasant consequences of a sedentary lifestyle with the help of training

These exercises will help relieve tension in the muscles of the cervical spine.

Why do you need neck exercises

When the head is lowered down, the angle between the shoulders and the cervical spine shifts. Stress in this area affects posture and overall well-being, and can cause headaches, decrease performance, and increase blood pressure. But this is a position in which many spend several hours a day, looking at the screen of a computer or smartphone. Muscle imbalance develops, over time, the stoop worsens, pain appears in the neck and spine, in the upper back.

To compensate for the detrimental effects of a sedentary lifestyle, you need to exercise, stay active, and do exercises that target specific muscle groups. This will help to strengthen and stretch the muscles, will be an excellent prevention of problems of the musculoskeletal system. Exercises are shown, including for osteochondrosis, but before starting a workout, it is better to consult with your doctor and trainer, to discuss your individual characteristics. 

10 exercises: technique, video

Exercises for the neck are best done during breaks between working at the computer, as well as in the evening before going to bed, for relaxation. The frequency of execution depends on the complexity of the situation. They can also be done every day or two to three times a week as part of a workout. It is enough to perform several exercises from the complex to choose from. No special warm-up is needed. Massage is helpful after exercise. 

Head tilts to the sides 

Stand up straight, straighten your chest, lower your shoulders. Smoothly tilt your head to the right, return to the starting position and repeat to the left. There is no need to rush; movements should be slow. There may be a delay at the point of maximum tilt. The next step is to help yourself with your hand, slightly increasing the bend and stretching the muscles. Do 10-15 repetitions.

Semicircle

Stand up straight, straighten your chest, lower your shoulders. As you inhale, turn your head to your right shoulder, slowly make a semicircle as you exhale, inhale at the extreme point and repeat on the other side as you exhale. 10 reps.

Rotating the arm with a tilt 

Tilt your head to the right, grab the back of your head with your right hand and gently stretch your neck muscles. Extend your left hand to the side, make 10 slow circles with a straight arm to one side and 10 to the other. Change sides. It is important after the end of the exercise to slowly return the head back.

Forward bends and turns

Put your hands together and place them on the back of your head. Pull the back of your head up with your hands, lengthening your neck. Then gently tilt your head forward until you feel a comfortable tension. From this position, gently turn your head to the right and left. Do 10 reps.

Pushing away from the wall

Stand sideways against a wall and rest with a straight arm. Turn your head and, grabbing it with your hand, tilt it, creating a comfortable tension. From this position, unfold the body completely away from the wall while inhaling, while exhaling, return to the starting position.

Pulling against the wall

Stand with your back against the wall, press your buttocks, the entire surface of the shoulder blades and the back of the head. Maintaining this position, as you inhale, pull your chin up, pulling the front of your neck. Do 10 reps.

Turns against the wall 

Standing against the wall, press your buttocks, the entire surface of the shoulder blades and the back of the head. Turn your head to the right and left. Repeat 10 times.

Squared hold

Take the original “square” on all fours, a neutral position of the head relative to the spine. Stretch the top of your head forward. For self-control, you can use a light stick (for example, from a mop), placing it on the spine, or a very light bodybar (1 kg). Hold the position for 30–90 seconds, constantly stretching forward behind the crown.

Stretching with a towel

Take a towel, wrap it around your neck at the back of your head, while controlling that your shoulders are down. From this position, follow a semicircle with your chin up. The towel can also be used as a roller: place it on the back of your neck and press lightly on it, tilting your head back and forth.

Self-massage 

Starting position – standing or sitting. Walk your fingertips from your collarbone to your shoulders, moving your fingers up and down, left and right, and in a circle (five movements in each direction). Then, in the same movements, massage the back of the neck from the base to the shoulders.

 

 

The problem of moving the head forward is associated primarily with hypertonicity of the anterior surface of the neck and the upper trapezium. The first is due to the use of gadgets. The second is due to stress (the shoulders are lifted up all the time).

The position of the head and neck muscles are interconnected with the entire body. Stoop – with hypertonicity of the pectoral muscles, displacement of the pelvis forward due to hypertonicity of the hip flexors. And this is a compensatory situation that will definitely lead to muscle problems. That is, due to the position of the body, the head and neck adapt to the wrong state. Therefore, the problem should be solved comprehensively.

Contraindications for exercise include changes in the cervical spine – displacement, hernia and protrusion. In this case, you should only train under the supervision of a trainer. Also, exercises are contraindicated with high and low pressure, since when working with the muscles of the neck, there is an effect on the area through which the vessels supplying the brain pass. Complications can occur when blood pressure rises sharply.

In case of violations of posture in the weekly training plan, there must be exercises for the back (for working with a stoop) and other disorders of the musculoskeletal system

 

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