Text Neck: Gentle Exercises to Support and Strengthen your Neck and Upper Back!
Updated: Feb 21, 2021
Check out my video Yoga for the Neck: Neck TLC if you are looking for stretches that can help reduce tension in the neck!
I look at this picture and cringe because I know that this habit will hurt my neck in the long run! This is because the average head weighs 10-12 pounds! In addition, when we do not align our head over our heart space, gravity starts to take over. We begin to poke out our chin further and our shoulders may start to round forward. The muscles in the back of our neck become over-stretched. This in turn causes the front neck muscles to tighten up. This can lead to pain and discomfort in the neck and our upper back body. YIKES!
In my opinion, the most important thing that we can do is become AWARE of these patterns created in our body. Once I became aware that I was looking down at my phone, I started to bring my phone up to eye level. However, the arms can get pretty tired after holding the phone for lengthy periods of time. So, this may not be sustainable if we are watching a video on our phone.
The following are some exercises and stretches that I do to support and strengthen my neck and upper back. After all, it is all connected!
The above picture provides an example of a chin poke, which can occur when we are using technology (e.g. phones, computers, watching TV, etc.). This puts a lot of pressure on my neck and upper back body!
Take a moment to compare/contrast the two pictures. What do you notice? This is an example of a chin tuck.
In my opinion, chin tucks are a game-changer! You can do this in a comfortable seat or standing. Place your index finger and middle finger on your chin, applying gentle pressure as you press into your chin. This action encourages your head to move back in space, aligning your head over your heart. This helps to lengthen through the back of the neck.
Hold this for 3-5 seconds and then relax. Repeat this action 3 times in one sitting and up to 3 times a day. This is such a great way to check in with your neck!