Exercises for the Neck
The muscles of the neck rotate and flex the neck backwards and forwards in addition to side to side. Even when you turn your head, your neck muscles do all the work to support your head.
Exercising the neck and using proper form relieves stiffness and loosens the neck muscles, so the tendons and nerves are stimulated. Most neck exercises can be performed while seated or standing unless otherwise directed.
The first exercise for the neck is very simple and can be done throughout the day to help keep the kinks away. You basically place your head and neck in a neutral position but not slouched. Place both your left hand on the left side of your head and gently push for 15 seconds. Resist any movement of your head by “isometrically” contracting your neck muscles. Repeat with your right hand on the right side of your head. This is an excellent way to strengthen your neck muscles with minimal risk of injury. You can even perform this simple exercise on the front and back of the head.
The second exercise is done with a workout partner to help you with this towel exercise. Make sure you use a medium sized towel and fold it length-wise several times until you have a two-inch width. Sit your body on a sturdy chair or bench. Then, lay the towel over the center of your forehead. Together with our partner standing from behind, have him hold each end of the towel applying even tension during the exercise. Slowly but surely push your head against the towel moving forward as your try to touch the chin to the chest. If you don’t reach your chin at first, don’t worry, you get better as you do the exercise. Perform the exercise in three sets at 12 – 15 repetitions, two to three times a week.
It’s important to understand that you do need to exercise your neck, but not as much as you exercise the rest of your body, just enough to keep your neck loose and tension free. Neck exercises don’t need to be extreme just effective muscle training to keep the neck in shape and avoid injury.