Essential But Simple Exercises To Strengthen The Neck

March 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Body Exercises

The neck is an extremely important area of supportive muscles which must have sufficient strength to avoid straining and injury. For athletes, the emphasis on neck exercises is even more acute as the neck is at more risk especially with sports such as soccer, boxing and hockey which.

Bodybuilders also need to concentrate on this area to balance the strength, not just for visual proportion reasons but also to prevent injuries. Neck injuries can be very severe and in some cases lead to death.

The neck is compiled of 4 major groups of muscles giving support and flexibility to the head. These muscle groups include:

Flexors – Enabling the head to move down with the chin on the breastbone.

Rotators – Enabling the head to round to look past the shoulder

Lateral Flexors – Enabling the head to lean on either shoulder

Extensors – Enabling the head to move backwards your face pointing skywards.

Together, these muscles allow for complete movement of the head in all directions. The muscles must be maintained to keep them strong and supple to reduce the risk of injury or stiffness in the neck.

If you are embarking on neck exercises for the first time, take it easy. Don’t launch into heavy, intensive exercises as you may strain the area, take it slowly at first with gentle exercises regularly. Remember to check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise regime.

The rotator muscles are relatively easy to increase strength. Put your hand against the side of your head while trying to turn the head, pushing gently on the hand. Start with gentle resistance then slowly add more once the head is turned to full capacity. Then do the other side. Always keep the head straight.

The other muscles involved in the neck muscle network can be exercised in tandem using machines provided by most gyms known as a four-way neck machine. If your gym does not have this machine they will most probably have an alternative head-strap apparatus, however this device will only benefit the extensors. You can buy a head strap in most sports shops.

The theory of the neck work out is based on the premise where resistance is placed on the neck when moving in the corresponding direction. The most effective and safest method is to start with a lower resistance then increasing when strength builds.

Never continue to exercise if pain or any discomfort is felt while in action. Strengthening the neck should be a slow and steady process. However, it is natural to feel a little fatigue hours after exercising a muscle correctly.