Whether you have a stiff or sore neck or even experience neck pain after waking up, you have plenty of company. Neck stiffness is one of the most common forms of pain among Americans. But as for any other body part, exercises and stretches will make your neck muscles more robust and limber. Try to loosen a tense neck, banish pain and achieve strength with these movements.
Bonus: A strong neck will also help avoid trouble with the shoulders, upper back, and arms. If you already experience pain in your neck or anywhere else, speak with your doctor before you begin. When you stretch, you’ll feel a little tension in your neck muscles. But you shouldn’t feel pain. If you do, then quit immediately. Here are some effective neck exercises to help you relieve the pain.
This can be done whilst sitting or standing on your feet. Maintain slow and smooth moves.
- Start squarely with your head over your shoulders and your back straight.
- Lower your head to your chest and stay for about 15-30 seconds. Relax, and raise your head slowly.
- Tilt your chin to the ceiling and pull the base of your skull backward. Hold 10 seconds, then go back to the starting position.
- Repeat this set multiple times. Perform this every single day.
Perform this while you are standing, with your feet hip-width apart and your arms down.
- Tilt your head gently towards your right shoulder, and try to touch it with your ear. Avoid feeling the stretch. Don’t bring your shoulder up.
- Hold the stretch for 5-10 seconds, then go back to the starting position.
- Repeat with your left side. You can do several sets and have up to 10 repetitions to work your way.
- Place your hand on the same side of your bent head over your head for extra stretch, and press gently with your fingertips.
You can do this in a standing or sitting position.
- Keep your head squarely fixed on your shoulders and back.
- Turn your head slowly towards the right until you notice a stretch between your neck and shoulder leg.
- Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds, then turn your head back slowly.
- Repeat on the left. Perform as many as ten sets.
This is best done while standing up.
- Raising your shoulders straight up and pushing them forward in a circle.
- Perform this six times.
- Go back to the starting position and perform another six circles, this time backward.