Improving Cervical Posture Through Exercise

cobra exercise

Poor neck posture is a common challenge for many.  Technology certainly plays a role, with texting being the order of the day and our heads bowed over a mobile device screen for hours at a time.

Then there are desk jobs which involve sitting in front of a computer and just plain sitting.

Your neck can take a beating if you’re not giving it the time of day, so this post details exercises for improving cervical posture.  Let’s get intentional about keeping our upper vertebrae operating as they should.

Chin Retractions

Laying on your back, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, look up at the ceiling.  Next, nod your head as though signaling agreement.  This should be done without moving your neck.  Only the implicated muscles should be moving.

Take it slow to get maximum benefit.  Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder Blade Squeeze

Pull up an armless chair and have a seat.  With your feet flat on the floor, maintain an erect posture.  Relax your shoulders and allow your arms to hang freely at your sides.

Consciously think about touching your shoulder blades together, as your chest raises.  The movement is coming from the muscles of your upper back.  Hold for 5 and release.  Repeat 10 times, keeping your seated posture in mind and maintaining a neutral neck position.

The Cobra

Lie down on your stomach with your elbows supporting you and your forearms in front of you, in line with your shoulders, hands flat on the floor and legs extended and relaxed behind you.

Pulling your shoulder blades together will trigger your chest to rise slightly.  In this position, gently raise your chin until your forehead is aimed at the ceiling.  Hold for a count of 5, release and repeat 10 times.

Chin Raises

This one can be done either sitting or standing.

Gently raise your chin until it’s pointed at the ceiling, keeping your shoulders relaxed and being mindful of core engagement to protect your back.  Hold for 5, release and repeat 10 times.

Ear to Shoulder

Again, this one can be done sitting or standing.  With relaxed shoulders, gently tilt your head to the right, allowing your head to do the job of stretching out the left side of your neck.  Hold for 5, release and repeat on the other side.  Do both sides 10 times.

Look to the Right and then, to the Left

I prefer that this one be done seated, as you’ll have greater stability.  Again, keep those shoulders relaxed, not allowing them to drift up as you perform the movement.

First, look to the right.  When your nose is in line with your shoulder, hold for 5.  Release, repeat on the other side and do 10 repetitions.

Performing these simple exercises every day will strengthen and lengthen the muscles and supporting structures in your neck.  Your cervical spine needs these to be kept strong, so that it maintains its ability to function optimally.

Got cervical pain?  Let the pros at Back & Body Medical help.  Contact us for a consultation.

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