Tuesday 28 May 2019

Should You Exercise Your Neck?

A lot of us deal with tension and tightness in the neck, tension headaches, and other related symptoms. What's to be done about that?

Clients will often inform me of doing regular stretching for their necks to no avail. Well, that's weird!

Truer words have never been spoken.
Regurgitation time: Muscles are tight for a reason! And that reason is usually a need for more strength, not for more tugging them to their end-range. As always, I remind you that there's probably a good case against static stretching for that reason.

But how does strengthening the neck work? Well, for the love of all that's mighty, please refrain from the gym bro neck extensions which are more likely to leave you with a massive kink in the neck and splitting headache.

Figure 2.0: No.

Instead, applicable strength through the neck will majorly come from the deep flexors at the front of your neck, which tend to be underutilized in many of our sedentary lifestyles.

Progressions exist, but this is a starting step. If you have neck pain, strengthening to keep the joints secure is the key; not just excessive stretching. Go gentle, be mindful, and give your neck muscles a reason to feel relaxed.


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