Strengthening your neck gives you the illusion of being huge. Think about it: of all the people you’ve seen with muscles, the ones with thick necks make more of an impression. But it’s not just about presentation. Adding muscle to your neck helps safeguard your head from trauma, like a car crash or a tackle. You may or may not like the look of your skinny neck, but without exercise it is left exposed.
Strong Necks Are Healthy Necks
Maintaining good posture and avoiding accidents will only take you so far. By building up your neck strength you can make yourself less likely to suffer from a concussion, and help the upper back and shoulder muscles. Strength also increases the flexibility in your neck, which means it has a wider range of motion. As you begin to give your neck more attention and add exercises to your workout, you will notice that it has an easier time relaxing and pain there is reduced.
In fact Jason Ferruggia, CEO of Renegade Strength and Conditioning in California, used to recommend neck training as an option. Now, he’s telling people it’s mandatory. He refers to working on your neck as a “life insurance policy,” as it can help athletes when they sustain injuries that could otherwise be life-threatening or paralyze them. You can ease into neck exercising, but remember to stretch it first just like with any other muscle. Athletes who compete in high contact sports should definitely focus on building a strong neck, but it is just as important for day-to-day living to avoid the risk of injury when you trip, fall, or get in a car accident. Neck strengthening can also help prevent neck injuries from becoming more serious – in 2002, 26% of adults in the United States reported lower back pain in the previous three months while 14% reported neck pain. A strong neck can help you avoid further problems that could eventually impact your spine.
How To Exercise Your Neck
Tension headaches are a common pain that can range from a throbbing annoyance to a debilitating pain that disrupts your life. One way to treat tension headaches is to work on your neck, since the pain by be rooted in muscle tightness from your head, neck, or scalp. Although there can be different causes such as stress or sitting in the same position for long periods of time, adding regular neck exercises to your routine will help your posture and prevent you from carrying stress in your shoulders and neck.
Neck exercises are great, because they can be done easily - from home, at work, while you stand or while you sit. Posture is important: a straight spine, relaxed back, shoulders forward. You can start off very simply: leaning your head forward and touching your chin to your chest before raising it up. Then to the right and back, the left and back, etc. Take your time, about 3-5 seconds each position. Any jerking movements will only hurt your fragile muscles. If anything feels unnatural or as if you are pushing yourself in the wrong direction, feel free to stop or even consult with your doctor.