Admit it! You have never given a second thought to your neck muscles.
But you are off the hook, most people don’t worry about their neck muscles unless they are required to do so. Boxers, fighters, body builders and some other athletes are the only ones that regularly work out their neck muscles.
You don’t necessarily have to be a high-endurance athlete or sports person to pay attention to your neck muscles.
There are some very interesting reasons why you should start paying attention to your neck muscles:
Nerve Impulse Protection
All your nerve impulses, traveling from the brain to the spinal cord and vice versa, are protected by your neck muscles. If these muscles are weak or damaged, then these impulses are affected.
Why should that matter?
These impulses are responsible for keeping your body balanced and ensuring correct movement.
So it’s simple, build some neck muscles and be more balanced and move better.
Decrease Injury Risk
This one is especially important for fighters.
Strengthening the neck and jaw muscles can decrease the risk of injuries when the face gets hit.
To lower the risk even further, you may want to clench down on your mouth piece when you see a kick or punch coming.
This is the biggest reason why everyone should start focusing on their neck muscles.
The anterior, medial and other neck muscles move around your breathing canal when you take a breath. Improving these muscles can increase the quality of your respiration.
This comes is extremely handy when you are doing demanding tasks and high-intensity workouts.
Now that you know the importance of building neck muscles, you should learn some simple exercises that can help you increase the mass of muscles.
They range from simple to advanced, so choose ones that suit your level. Let’s start with a simple one:
1. Chin to Chest Stretch
Anyone can perform this exercise at home or at the gym.
The contraction and stretching movement of the power of your neck muscles.
You can sit down on the ground with your legs stretched in front of you. Put your hands on the back of your head and interlock your fingers. Bring your head down towards your chest, as far as you comfortably can, and hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat.
2. Side Neck Stretch
This is a simple exercise that can be included in your daily workout routine. There is no equipment required. It is suitable for beginners.
This exercise can be done sitting down or standing up, standing is preferred.
Stand with your hands on the sides. Hold the right side of your head with your left hand and pull gently to stretch the neck muscles. Repeat with the other hands and for as many reps as you like.
3. Isometric Neck Exercise
This exercise is good for strengthening the neck muscles. You will use the resistance of your own arms for this exercise. This exercise is suitable for beginner level.
There are 2 different variations of performing this exercise. One for sides and one for front and back
Stand up straight and keep your neck in a neutral position. Place either your left or right hand on the side of your face. Push with your hand as you resist the movement with your neck muscles.
Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and then repeat with the other hand.
You can place your hand on your forehead and the back of your head for working out the front and back of your neck.
4. Face down Neck Resistance
This exercise is best for giving your neck muscles a real boost. It puts a lot of stress on your neck so it is only recommended for athletes and people who have experience with advanced level exercises.
Lie face down on a bench. Position yourself so your chest at the corner of the bench.
Hold a weight plate at the back of your head. Drop your head down and bring it back up, slowly avoiding sudden movements.
If you are a beginner and would like to try this exercise, then you can do it without the weight plate.
5. Neck Harness Resistance
You will need to have a neck harness to perform this exercise. It has an advanced level so don’t try it if you are a beginner.
Start by putting the desired amount of weight on the harness. Sit down at the edge of the bench and bend down. Place your hands on your knees.
Put the harness on and stay in this slightly bent position. Lift your head up slowly and bring it back down.
Do 10-12 reps before resting.
With the reasons above, you have to start thinking about your neck muscles more often. And most neck muscle exercises aren’t that difficult to perform. From the list above, you can include any one of the exercises into your workout regimen without derailing the routine.
Stay tuned as we move down the list and talk about strengthening exercises. The next one is going to be about building traps’ muscles, don’t miss it.
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