Fitness Friday

Fitness Friday With Coach Kirt…Neck Flexibility.

Fitness Friday Mid American Fitness in Farmington Hills20160311123313_2403312_ver1.0_1280_720Suppose you wake one morning after what you thought was a good nights sleep, or perhaps you’ve rested your head in your hand for an abnormal amount of time. We’ve all been there… a stiff neck!! Below you’ll find some of our favorite stretches to help prevent and alleviate those tense muscles while increasing overall neck flexibility.  

 

  • Ear to Shoulder Stretch

Standing or seated, allow your shoulders to relax to a natural position. Look strait ahead with the tip of your chin slightly forward. While maintaining relaxed shoulders, slowly draw your head down to the right or left side, towards your shoulder. An ear to shoulder stretch will make you feel as though you’re lengthening the muscles that attach the base of your skull to the outer most portion of the shoulder girdle. When comfortable, you may apply slow, gentle pressure to the top of your head with the opposing hand.

Ear shoulder

 

 

* Alternate stretch, left/right.

* 20-30 seconds each side.

* 2-3 times each side.

 

 

  • Neck Rotation Stretch

Standing or seated, allow the shoulders to relax to a natural position. Look strait ahead with the tip of your chin slightly forward and elevated. While maintaining “head up, chin up” posture, gently turn your head left or right until the chin aligns with the shoulder. This stretch will benefit the muscles that run along the cervical spine as well as the larger muscles that run from the lower ear to the collarbone. To advance this stretch, gently apply hand pressure from the opposite direction you’re rotating.

neck_turn

 

* Alternate stretch, left/right.

* 10-20 seconds each side.

* 8-10 times each side.

 

  • Neck Extension Stretch

While seated, allow the shoulders to relax to a natural position. Start with a neutral head, forward position. Very slowly, allow the head to extend backward toward your back. When in the finished position, your chin will likely be pointed toward the ceiling. Gently return head to neutral. Slowly allow the chin to flex forward towards the top of the chest, so you are looking down at the floor. To complete, return the head to a neutral position.

neck_extension

 

* Alternate stretch, backward/forward.

* 10-15 seconds each direction.

* 2-3 times each direction.

 

Sadly, when thinking about stretching, the neck is often overlooked. Incorporating just a few neck stretches throughout your day can help you create a healthy posture. It’s been said, “Wherever your head goes, your body follows;” therefore, keep those neck muscles loose and limber!

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