One of the best parts about being interested in holistic health is that there are seemingly an endless amount of things to learn about the human body and how it can be healed, optimized and improved.
As far as body parts go, the neck is among the most ignored on the entire human body, but it serves the vital function of supporting your head (and thereby, your brain), adjusting to its posture throughout the day and doing its best to ensure safety and functionality.
Neck muscles are some of the strongest in the entire body, but they also have a pronounced tendency to become tight with overuse, and improper use, especially in today’s digital world.
That makes simple neck exercises like the ones below an integral part of a daily wellness routine for anyone who stares at their phone longer than an hour or so per day, not to mention office employees who stare at computer screens for a large portion of the day.
The first exercise is presented by Mark Wildman, a celebrity trainer in Los Angeles, California whose main focus is on improving the overall “skills” of the human body, utilizing movements that restore balance and allow body parts like the neck to achieve optimal function naturally.
“Everybody Should Do Three Minutes of Neck Mobility Every Day”
According to Wildman, there’s no excuse not to do at least three minutes of neck mobility exercises each day, because of the importance of strengthening these muscles and increasing mobility.
The best part about neck exercises is that they generally don’t require any special equipment, Wildman says in the video below.
As a bonus, they require very little thought prior to doing them and are quite easy to remember.
Check out the full suite of exercises from Wildman below, or scroll down for additional exercises to heal some of the most common neck problems.
Exercise #1: Look Side-to-Side
As simple as it sounds, this exercise can really reduce stiffness and make your neck feel more flexible, opening up better breathing pathways as you continue to do it.
To do the exercise, simply sit up straight, look forward and rotate your neck side-to-side.
I like to do this one for sets of 25, three times everything morning, something I learned while taking a muay thai kickboxing class several years ago that has stuck with me ever since.
Exercise #2: Fix Forward Head Posture with Chin Tucks
Chiropractor Dr. David Oliver sees several patients each week, and the number one issue he is forced to correct is the problem of forward head posture.
“Anytime your body focuses on something in front of it, the tendency is to look forward,” Oliver says in the video below.
The head ends up drifting in front of the body, which is problematic because most weigh 10-14 pounds.
The strain on your neck becomes a serious problem.
To do this exercise, place two fingers on your chin and begin gently pushing your head backwards into your neck.
This exercise reverses the process of your head shifting forward while working on the computer, Dr. Oliver says, and can improve your backward range of motion quick.
I personally tried this and felt a ton of soreness and stiffness, but over time this exercise will improve your neck flexion from front-to-back.
Dr. Oliver recommends 10-15 reps; watch the video below to learn more.
Exercise #3: Add Resistance with a Towel to Fix Neck Arthritis
Last but not least, this simple neck exercise presented by Dr. Alan Mandell, a south Florida chiropractor, can help correct arthritis and restore normal neck support and posture.
To do it, simple grab a small towel, and hold it around the back of your neck, parallel to your ears.
Begin pushing your head straight back, and then forward. Each time you bring it back, hold resistance for three seconds before going forward again.
Learn more about how the exercise works from Dr. Mandell below, and be sure to share this article with anyone you know who may be struggling in the neck health department: