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Neck Strengthening Exercises – Part 2 of Exercises for Neck Pain

Last week we talked about some easy exercises you could do at home for your neck pain. Once you’re comfortable with those, you can move on to some neck strengthening exercises.

If you missed last week’s article, check it out here: Exercises for Neck Pain You Can Do at Home

neck strengthening exercises

Why Are Neck Strengthening Exercises Important?

By strengthening muscles around your neck, shoulders and upper body you can reduce the strain on your neck and spine. These other muscles can now help support the weight of your upper body and head, instead of relying upon your spine to do more of the work. In addition, working these muscles will bring more blood flow to the area, helping repair any injuries present.

Now that we understand why neck strengthening exercises are important, let’s talk about what they look like. Remember, as with any stretching or exercising, you should review these with your doctor before starting. In addition, if any of these make your pain worse, you should stop immediately.

Exercises 1-3

Sit up straight in a chair that supports your back. With your shoulders back make sure your head is above your shoulders in a “neutral” position.

Exercise 1 – Now, press your hand against your forehead as if you’re trying to push your head toward the back of your body. At the same time, use your neck muscles to push against your hand so your head stays in the “neutral” position. Hold this pressure for a count of ten, then relax. Repeat this three times.

Exercise 2 – While sitting in the same position, you’ll now press the palm of your hand against the back of your head. Press forward with your hand as you try to press your head backwards with your neck muscles. Again, your head will not move but you will be working your neck muscles against the pressure of your hand. Hold for a count of ten and then relax. Repeat three times.

Exercise 3 – Staying in the chair in the same position repeat the exercise, this time placing the palm of your hand on the side of your head. Try to push your head to the side with your hand as you resist the motion with your neck. Hold for ten and relax. Repeat this three times. Then repeat on the other side of your head.

Exercises 4-5

Next we’ll talk about head lifts. With each of these exercises you’ll be strengthening your neck muscles using the weight of your head.

Exercise 4 – Lay on your stomach on the floor or other firm surface. Prop up your upper body by placing your elbows and forearms on the floor. While keeping your neck back so you maintain good head “neutral” position, lean your head back so you’re looking up at the sky. Continue back as far as your neck will go and hold for a count of five. Then bring your head down so it’s “hanging”. Go down as far as you can go and hold that for a count of 5. Repeat five times.

Exercise 5 – Now flip over so you’re laying on your back with your head on the floor or firm surface. Raise your head up, bringing your chin to your chest, and hold for a count of five. Then return your head to the floor for a count of five. Repeat ten times.

Neck strengthening exercises can help if you’re experiencing neck pain. In addition, it can help keep your neck strong in an attempt to avoid future bouts of neck pain. Try these at home and see if they help you.




*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery