The Neck
The neck supports the head and keeps it aligned with the body. It’s at the highest most part of the spine. The spinal column extends from the base of the skull to the pelvis. The neck is created from vertebrae, joints, and muscles. The neck is the start of the spinal column and neck anatomy is a well-engineered structure of bones, nerves, muscles, ligaments and tendons. The cervical spine or (neck) is delicate –  One of its primary goals is housing the spinal cord which is responsible for sending messages from the brain to control all aspects of the human body.

Function of the neck:
One primary function of the next is to support the head. The neck additionally contains many blood vessels that enable blood to be transferred to and from the brain. The neck also contains the higher spinal cord, that controls body movements and is connected to the brain stem within the neck.

Benefits of Neck Exercise:
Exercising your neck will build it stronger, and provide a lot of versatility and scale back neck pain that’s caused by stress and fatigue.
Exercising the neck muscles has 3 benefits:
• It strengthens the muscles of the neck, upper back, and shoulders
• It makes the neck a lot more versatile, increasing it’s range of motion
• It relaxes the neck and reduces pain

Weighted Neck Extensions in Prone Position

Neck extension is a motion where in the neck is bent backward such as when you are looking up to the sky. The posterior neck muscles are the ones making this movement possible. They are anatomically layered close to each other so you can work these muscles all at once when doing some neck exercises. One of the most effective strengthening exercises for posterior neck muscles is the weighted neck extension. Since this activity involves the use of a load, it is considered as an advanced type of exercise — which means this is only advisable for individuals with strong neck muscles.

Instructions
• Prepare the flat barbell plate and wrap it with a towel.
• Lie on your stomach (prone position) on the bench.
• Position your chest just at the level of the edge of the bench, allowing your head to dangle and providing enough space for neck movements.
• Place the wrapped weight carefully on the back of your head and and hold it with both hands to keep it in place. Your hands should only serve as a support for the position of the weight; do not use them to lift the weight.
• Using only the muscles of your neck, slowly lift your head up as high as you can, then go back down to starting position (head dangled forward).
• Do this procedure 5 to 10 times and then relax.

Tips for Neck Exercise:
• Before you begin a neck exercise program, consult with a healthcare professional, particularly if you have had a recent accident involving your neck or a history of neck problems.
• Stretch slowly, and avoid explosive movement.
• Breathe slowly and deeply as you exercise. Never stretch to the point where it’s no longer comfortable.
• Go to a point when you’re feeling a mild tension, and relax as you hold the stretch. The sensation of tension should go away as you hold the position.
• Do five repetitions for every exercise unless a healthcare professional  has requested a distinct variety of repetitions.

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