What is Neck
The neck is the part of the body, on many terrestrial or secondarily aquatic vertebrates, that distinguishes the head from the torso or trunk. The neck supports the head and keeps it aligned with the body. It is at the top most part of the spine. The spine also runs through the mid and the lower back. The neck is made up of vertebrae, joints, and muscles. The vertebrae are the bones of the spine. They protect the spinal cord inside it and give support for muscles and joints.
Function of the neck:
The main obvious function of the neck is to hold up the head. The neck also contains several blood vessels that allow blood to reach the head and the brain. The neck contains the trachea and part of the esophagus, which allow air and food/water to reach the body, respectively. The neck also contains the upper spinal cord, which controls body movements and is connected to the brain stem in the neck.
Benefits of Neck Exercise:
Exercising your neck can make it stronger, more flexible and reduce neck pain that is caused by stress and fatigue.
Exercising the neck muscles has three benefits:
• It strengthens the muscles of the neck, upper back, and shoulders
• It makes the neck more flexible, increasing its range of motion
• It relaxes the neck and reduces pain
Weighted Neck Flexion
The Weighted Neck Flexion is a great exercise for the neck and stomach (abdomen) and requires only a bench, towel and free weight plate.
• Wrap a towel around the flat weight.
• Lay on the bench perpendicularly, with the area just below your shoulders resting on the bench.
• Hold the towel-wrapped weight against your forehead, and use your hands to support the weight, but not to carry its weight.
• Raise your upper body in a sit up like movement.
• Use your neck muscles to lift your head until your chin touches your chest.
• Lower your upper body until you’re fully extended.
Be careful not to actually push your head back with the force of your hands when lifting. Otherwise, this is a great exercises for increasing your sternocleidomastoid and your full abdominal area.
Tips for Neck Exercise:
• Before you start a neck exercise program, talk to your healthcare provider, especially if you have had a neck accident or a history of neck problems.
• Stretch slowly, and avoid sudden movement. Pay attention to your muscles stretching.
• When you have stretched it as far as it can comfortably go, hold for 5 seconds, then slowly return to the original position.
• Breathe slowly and deeply as you exercise. Never stretch to the point where it is no longer comfortable.
• Go to the point where you feel a mild tension, and relax as you hold the stretch. The feeling of tension should go away as you hold the position.
• If it does not ease off slightly and find an amount of tension that is comfortable for you.
• Do 5 repetitions for each exercise unless your healthcare provider has requested a different number of repetitions.