These exercises help you fit your neck

Occasionally tilting your head toward the ground is, you know, normal, given that the neck is supposed to tilt, twist, and bend. But the explosion in smartphone use over the past several years has meant more people looking downward, and more often. It’s not just annoying if you’re trying to walk down the street — research has found that constantly looking at your phone can put up to 60lbs of extra force on your spine, leading to the dreaded condition known as “text neck.”

If you don’t want a life of headaches and spinal pain, the best option is to hold your phone directly in front of you while using it. Since you’re probably not going to start walking down the street while holding your smartphone directly in front of your face, you should at least try to counteract the problem and start incorporating these four exercises into your daily routine.

Chair squat

Jeff Miller, a personal trainer with more than 20 years experience in the fitness industry, points out that “text neck” is part of a bigger set of problems that he terms “screen slouch,” explaining, “The slouch really starts in the knees, kicks in at the hips, and gets really bad by the time you get to your shoulders and neck.” Because text neck, ultimately, affects your entire body, he suggests starting with an exercise that emphasizes proper posture: the good ol’ chair squat.

Stand directly in front of a sturdy chair with your feet shoulder-distance apart, your arms at your sides. Keeping your spine straight, your shoulders pulled back, and your chest lifted, press your hips back and bend your knees to sit down in the chair. Tap your butt lightly on the chair, then reverse the movement and stand up, again keeping your core engaged and your spine straight. Perform three sets of six to 10 squats. You can disperse these throughout the day as you see fit.

Resistance-band rows

To counteract the inevitable shoulder-hunch associated with texting, Miller suggests adding three sets of resistance-band rows. Simply anchor the resistance band around something sturdy — a signpost, column, door handle, or heavy piece of furniture — and back up so the tubing is pulled taut, but not tight.

Extend your arms fully in front of your body, position your feet shoulder-distance apart, and bend your knees slightly. Roll your shoulders backward, then pull both elbows in toward your body, bending them to 90 degrees, in a rowing motion. Reverse the movement and steadily extend your arms fully. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions, really squeezing your shoulder blades together as you pull the band toward you.


5 Stretches To Relieve A Tight, Sore Neck

Sit at a computer all day? Then these stretches will feel extra amazing.

Whether you slept in a funky position last night or you have been sitting and staring tensely at your computer for hours on end, neck pain happens. And a crick in the neck is not only annoying and painful, but it can also lead to headaches and upper back pain. To help reduce the aches and pains try a few of these satisfying stretches. After taking a long, hot shower to help loosen the muscles, try a few (or all) of them for a little instant relief. You’ll feel better and maybe you’ll even stand a bit taller.

1.  Seated Neck Release

This gentle stretch targets the sides of your neck.

Sit on the floor in a cross-legged position or in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Extend your right arm next to your right knee or along the right side of the chair. Place your left hand on the top of your head and slowly tilt your head to the left. Apply gentle pressure with your hand to increase the stretch. To feel a deeper stretch, you can hold onto your right knee or the seat of the chair. This stabilizes the torso and allows you to isolate the stretch on the side of your neck. Hold on this side for 30 seconds, then slowly lift your head up and repeat this stretch on the other side.

2. Seated Clasping Neck Stretch

Use your hands to offer a deep stretch for the back of your neck and your upper back.

Sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor. Clasp your hands and bring both palms to the back of your head. Sitting with a tall spine, ground your hips firmly into your seat. From here, begin to gently press your hands down toward your thighs, tucking your chin into your chest. As you press down, use the heels of your palms to pull your head away from your shoulders. This will intensify the stretch even more. Hold here for at least 30 seconds, and then slowly lift your head up and release your hands.

3. Behind the Back Neck Stretch

This standing stretch can be done anywhere, and will offer a deep stretch in the sides of your neck.

Stand with your feet hip distance apart, arms by your sides. Reach both hands behind your backside, and hold onto your left wrist with your right hand. Use your right hand to gently straighten your left arm and pull it away from you slightly. To increase the stretch in your neck, slowly lower your right ear toward your shoulder. Stay here for 30 seconds and then switch sides.

4. Grounded Tipover Tuck

Here’s a relaxing stretch for your neck and shoulders that can also help relieve headaches and drowsiness.

Come into Child’s Pose with your shins and forehead on the floor. Stay here for a few breaths, working on lengthening your spine as you relax your chest to your thighs. When you’re ready, interlace your hands behind you in a double fist. If you can, press the heels of your palms together to increase the stretch in your shoulders. Then lift your hands as high as you can. Inhale to shift your weight forward and lift your hips off your heels. Come to rest on the top of your head and extend your hands as close to the floor as you can. Stay here for 10 seconds and then lower your hips back to your heels. Stay here for 10 seconds, and then lift your hips up again. Continue this cycle five or more times, then release into Child’s Pose with your arms on either side of your legs.

5. Seated Heart Opener

Stretch through the front of your neck, chest, and shoulders with this relaxing heart opener.

Begin sitting on the heels as if coming into Reclining Hero pose. Lean back and place your palms flat on the floor about eight to 10 inches behind you so your fingertips are pointing away. Press your hands firmly into the ground to lift the chest high, arching your back and pushing your hips into your heels. To increase the stretch, lower your head behind you, stretching through your throat and the front of your chest even more. Stay for 30 seconds, then lift your head and torso up.