Do you ever get the feeling after a long day that your head is just too heavy for your neck? That’s your neck’s way of saying it’s tired. The neck is a hard-working part of our body but also a very fragile one as it connects our head to our spine, and injury could mean the difference between staying mobile or not. Therefore, it is imperative that neck exercising be a regular part of your workout regimen.
What to expect from the neck stretch
Neck stretches keep your neck mobile, while expanding the elasticity of your neck joints and lessening the normal stress and tension that come from being such an important component of the body. Everyone gets a stiff neck sometimes, but stretching can relieve that pain. You should move your neck until you feel only a mild tension, and then hold that position for five seconds. Reps of five should do the trick, with a couple of seconds in between to relax the area.
How to prepare for neck stretch
What’s great about neck stretches is that you don’t have to make time for them in your schedule. You can stretch yourself out in the car, at work, at home, anywhere and anytime is convenient for you. You can look up different moves online, but most are simple. You can roll your neck forward and hold your chin to your chest, move to look over your shoulders, and so on. As long as it feels natural, it should be fine although your doctor may have tips on the kind of motions that would strain your neck. It should only take a light pull to let you know that you have extended your muscles far enough.
Muscles you'll work with neck stretch
When you stretch our your neck you are also in fact helping out you upper back and shoulder muscles. These muscle groups also depend on each other - if you regularly have bad posture, one affects the other which can mean stiffness and pain. Two recommended neck exercises are even called the shoulder shrug and upper back stretch, because they use the areas around the neck as support to move it in different ways. By working on this area every day, you lower the chances of injury from disuse, improve flexibility, and can make those muscles stronger. Stretching out your neck helps it improve in its six ranges of motion: extending back, moving forward, left, and right, and looking over both shoulders.
Tips for Success in neck stretch
Neck stretches are one of the few exercises you are encouraged to keep up with every day, or even multiple times a day. Stretching should be taken slow and easy to avoid pulling any muscles. Listen to your body, and when in doubt don’t push yourself. Continue to breath slowly and deeply throughout - if you can’t breathe comfortably, that position is probably no good for you. If for some reason you should get dizzy from a head rush or some such thing, just sit on the floor until it passes.