Physio Neck Exercises – Stretch and Relieve Routine

Do you need neck exercises for your sore neck and shoulder muscles?

This simple neck exercise routine relieves tight neck and upper shoulder muscles.

Suitability: General

Outline of Neck Exercises Video

These neck exercises help you stretch and relieve tension in your neck and upper shoulder muscles.

1. Shoulder Rolls

Shoulder rolls move the shoulder girdle promoting postural awareness and decreasing neck and shoulder muscle tension.

Action

  • Roll your shoulders forwards to feel your shoulder blades move apart as you inhale
  • Raise your shoulders towards you ears
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together
  • Move your shoulders away from your ears as you exhale
  • Repeat 2-3 times in a row and whenever you experience neck and shoulder muscle tension.

 

2. Chin to Chest Stretch

This neck exercise stretches the muscles in the back of your neck to your upper back.

Action

  • Start with your head in neutral position
  • Slowly take your chin to your chest as you breathe out
  • Return your head position slowly back to neutral position
  • Repeat 2-3 times in a row and whenever you experience neck and shoulder muscle tension.

Progress

Add gentle over pressure using the tips of your fingers applied to the back of your head when your chin is close to your chest.

3. Ear to Shoulder Stretch

Directing your ear towards your shoulder stretches the upper trapezius muscles that extend from your neck into your upper shoulder.

Action

  • Address your posture by lifting the crown of your head towards the ceiling
  • Exhale and tilt your head towards your right shoulder
  • Keep your nose facing forwards and your left shoulder from lifting
  • Return to neutral and repeat towards the left shoulder
  • Repeat 2-3 times in a row and whenever you experience neck and shoulder muscle tension.

Progress

Add gentle over pressure using your fingertips applied to the side of your head when your ear is directed towards your shoulder.

4. Forehead to Armpit Stretch

This neck exercise lengthens the upper trapezius muscles and muscles at the back of the neck.

Action

  • Rotate your head to your right and lower your forehead towards your right shoulder
  • Keep your left shoulder from lifting
  • Return to neutral and repeat the same stretch towards the left shoulder
  • Repeat 2-3 times in a row and whenever you experience neck and shoulder muscle tension.

5. Nose to Thigh Stretch

Nose to thigh exercise lengthens the levator scapula muscle that lifts the shoulder blade. This stretch is often an effective stretch for headache relief and reducing tight shoulder muscles.

Action

  • Rotate your head to your right and lower your nose towards your right thigh (in sitting)
  • Keep your left shoulder from lifting
  • Return to neutral and repeat the same stretch towards the left thigh
  • Repeat 2-3 times in a row and whenever you experience neck and shoulder muscle tension.

How Often to Perform these Neck Exercises

This neck exercise routine can be performed anytime you experience neck tension.

Take regular breaks and incorporate neck exercises particularly during activities or events such as:

  • Working at your desk
  • Breast or bottle feeding
  • Using your mobile device
  • Sewing or cooking
  • Suffering from headache pain
  • During stressful events

More Information

» Posture Exercises for a Straight Back (Daily Physio Routine)

» How to Use a Foam Roller for Back Pain and Stiffness

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