Relieve a Stiff Neck with These 2 Simple Stretches
Do you ever wake up with a horribly stiff neck? If so, try these two simple stretches from coach Tyler at WiiShape to help loosen up that tightness so you can feel good again.
Proper Neck Stretching Technique
As coach Tyler explains, "A lot of people when they stretch their neck they think about bringing their face towards the ground. Now when you do this you compress the vertebrae and you bring your head towards the ground which actually can cause pain." Instead, he advises reaching your face and ear towards the sky to lengthen the neck without compression.
Anchor Your Hand to Deepen the Stretch
For the first stretch, coach Tyler recommends anchoring your hand to the bottom of a chair. As he notes, "When we anchor our hand down we can deepen the stretch in the side of our neck." Keep your fingers holding the chair as you gently lean your head to the side, bringing your ear up towards the sky.
Add Gentle Resistance to Target the Neck and Traps
To really target the muscles, use your other hand to provide gentle resistance as you hold the stretch. As coach Tyler advises, "Very gently put your fingers on the side of your head and give yourself just a little bit of resistance." Push your head against your hand to create tension, then relax into a deeper stretch.
Stretch the Other Side for Symmetry
Make sure to repeat the stretch on the other side of your neck as well. As coach Tyler recommends, "Stretch the other side of your neck to give you that symmetry and balance that you're after." Stretching both sides will keep your neck aligned.
Back of the Neck Stretch
The second stretch targets the back of the neck and traps. Anchor your hand to the chair again, bring your chin to chest, and imagine reaching the back of your head to the ceiling. Grab the back of your head with your other hand to gently turn your head to the stretched side.
Increase Pressure and Relax Into the Stretch
Again, use gentle resistance and breathe into the stretch. As coach Tyler advises, "Create a little pressure shallow breaths a little more pressure slowly increasing the pressure and then when you feel like that's enough take a big breath in, exhale relaxing."
Hold for 90 Seconds on Each Side
For best results, hold each side of both stretches for 90 seconds, following coach Tyler's technique of increasing pressure and then relaxing into a deeper stretch. Take your time, don't rush the movements, and breathe deeply.
Loose Neck and Shoulders
As coach Tyler notes, "Your neck, your shoulder, your trap it should feel significantly better by just doing this stretch right here." When performed regularly, these two simple stretches can help relieve neck tightness and tension.
Following coach Tyler's advice on proper neck stretching technique, using resistance to target muscles, and holding for an extended time can help loosen up even the stiffest neck. Try these two stretches daily to keep your neck feeling great.