GENERAL INFORMATION ON
 
NECK STRENGTHENING


Note: Please consult with your Osteopath prior to commencing these exercises

Please stop any neck exercises at the onset of any dizziness, blurred vision, headaches or any other abnormal feeling.


BASIC



POSTURE POSITIONING


Improving Neck Posture with Towel (Neck Lordosis)
Lie on your back with a rolled up towel under your neck. This should create a small curve in your neck as the towel holds it in a curved position. Hold in this position for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Perform 3 times per day.





ACTIVATION STRENGTHENING

Postural Strengthening of Neck Front Muscles with Towel
Lie on your back with a rolled up towel under your neck. Place your hands along the muscles at the front of your neck. Gently tuck your chin in to activate the muscles at the front of your neck, hold for 3 seconds, then relax. Only activate the muscles at the front of your neck. Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.

Postural Strengthening of Neck Muscles
With your shoulders and back relaxed gently pull your chin directly backwards in a straight line so you feel the muscles switch on in the back of your neck (to assist you can place your hand on the back or front of your neck to feel for activation of the neck muscles). Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.



RESISTED STRENGTHENING

Resisted Postural Strengthening of Neck Muscles
Wrap your hand around the base of your skull and neck gently resist your head pulling backwards in a straight line, resist for 3 seconds, then relax (Your head should remain still whilst you feel the contraction of your neck muscles at the back of your head). Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.

Resisted Neck Extension
Wrap your hand around the back of your neck. Gently resist your head and neck tilting backwards and downwards, resist for 3 seconds, then relax (your head should remain still whilst you feel the contraction of your neck muscles at the back of your head). Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.

Resisted Neck Side Bending
With your face pointing forwards place your hand on the side of your head. Gently side bend your head towards your hand (ear to shoulder), resist for 3 seconds, then relax (your head should not move but the muscles that help side bend your head should activate). Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.


Resisted Neck Rotation
Place your hand on the side of your head and gently rotate your head against the resistance of your hand, resist for 3 seconds, and then relax (your head should not move but the muscles that help rotate your head should activate). Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.



INTERMEDIATE



ACTIVATION STRENGTHENING


Front of Neck Stabilisation Strengthening (Head lift)
Lie on your back resting with your hands along the muscles at the front of your neck. Gently tuck your chin in to activate the muscles at the front of your neck and then raise your head approximately 1cm off the floor, hold for 3 seconds (breath normally), then slowly return your head to the floor. Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.

Back of Neck Stabilisation Strengthening (Head lift)
Lie on your front resting face down. Gently lift your head 3cm off the floor and tuck your chin in slightly, hold for 3 seconds (breathe normally), then slowly return your head to the floor. Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.
Front of Neck Stabilisation Strengthening with Rotation (Head lift)
Lie on your back resting with your hands along the muscles at the front of your neck. Gently tuck your chin in to activate the muscles at the front of your neck and then raise your head approximately 1cm off the floor and gently rotate your head to one side, hold for 3 seconds then return to the start position and rest. Repeat to the other side. Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.


Front of Neck Stabilisation Strengthening with Side Bending (Head lift)
Lie on your back resting with your hands along the muscles at the front of your neck. Gently tuck your chin in to activate the muscles at the front of your neck and then raise your head approximately 1cm off the floor and gently side bend your ear to shoulder as far as comfortable, hold for 3 seconds, and then return to the start position. Repeat to the other side. Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.


Side of Neck Stabilisation Strengthening (Head lift)
Lie on your side. Gently raise your head to be in line with your body, hold for 3 seconds, then return your head to the floor. Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.



ADVANCED



ACTIVATION STRENGTHENING


Back of Neck and Rotation Muscle Stabilisation Strengthening 
Sit or stand upright with good posture. Slightly tuck your chin in and gently bring your head backwards (arch your neck). From this position rotate your head fully to one side, hold for 3 seconds, and then the other, hold for 3 seconds, and then return it to the start position. Remember to breath throughout the exercise. Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.

Side of Neck and Rotation Muscle Stabilisation Strengthening
Sit or stand upright with good posture. Slightly tuck your chin in and gently bring your head to the side (ear to shoulder). From this position rotate your head fully to one side, hold or 3 seconds, and then the other side and hold for 3 seconds. Remember to breath throughout the exercise. Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.

Side Bending Strengthening
Lie on your side. Gently lift your head off the table and slowly bring your ear towards your shoulder, hold it for 3 seconds, and then slowly lower it back down to the start position. Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.


Base of Skull Neck Extension Strengthening (Lying on Front)
Lying face down with your head hanging off a bench (or something similar). Gently tuck your chin in and lift your head backwards until your chin is above table height, hold for 3 seconds, and the slowly lower it back down. Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.


RESISTANCE BAND


Neck Postural Muscle Strengthening with Resistance Band

Grip your resistance band and create a slight resistance with the band wrapped around your head. Gently draw your head backwards and tuck your chin in, hold for 3 seconds, and then slowly return it forwards back to the start position. Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.

Neck Extension with Resistance Band
Tie your resistance band to something on floor level (e.g. a heavy weight, table leg) and around your head. Your head should be slightly tilted forwards. Gently extend your head backwards against the resistance of the band as far as comfortable, hold for 3 seconds, and then slowly return it forwards back to the start position. Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.
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Neck Rotation with Resistance Band
Tie your resistance band to something slightly below head level and around your head. Gently rotate your head away from the band creating resistance in the band as far as comfortable, hold for 3 seconds, and then slowly return it back to the start position. Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.


Side Bending Strengthening  with Resistance Band
Tie your resistance band to something slightly below head level and around your head. Gently side bend your head away (ear towards shoulder) away from the band creating resistance as far as comfortable, hold for 3 seconds, in the band and then slowly return it back to the start position. Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.


BLOOD PRESSURE CUFF

Postural Strengthening of Neck Front Muscles (Blood Pressure Cuff)
Pump the blood pressure cuff up to 20mmHg. Lie on your back with a blood pressure cuff under your neck. Place your hands along the muscles at the front of your neck. Gently tuck your chin in to activate the muscles at the front of your neck and read the rise in pressure, hold for 3 seconds, and then relax. Only activate the muscles at the front of your neck. Perform 3 sets of 10, three times per day.