Neck and Spine Excercises

Neck and Spine Excercises 2017-06-09T20:11:44+00:00

Stretches

No. 1
Chest Opening Stretch Against Wall

Position:

One hip close to wall so body is facing perpendicular to it. Arm reached behind (horizontal with floor) with hand flat against wall. Head, torso, pelvis, and feet are facing forward as hand is behind body and arm is completely against wall.

Action:

Hold for 30-45 seconds, then switch sides.

To engage the pec minor muscle, angle arm upward at 45 degrees.

No. 2
Lat-Flex Arm Drop Stretch

Position:

Standing, with one hand on opposite side/top of head

Action:

Slowly pull head to side of raised arm, while dropping opposite arm/hand to floor (can use light weight in hanging hand)

No. 3
Lunge Stretch (Psoas)

Position:

Lunge (on one knee)

Action:

Tuck pelvis down and forward, then slowly move torso forward while keeping affected side knee on ground.

Use chair for balance if needed.

Mobility Exercises

No. 4
Shoulder Rolls

Position:

Standing or sitting

Action:

Slowly shrug shoulders and roll down and back in a backwards circle

No. 5
Arm circles

Position:

Standing or sitting

Action:

Keep elbows straight and head in neutral position looking forward while making tiny circles with arms. 10 circles in each direction with palms facing down. Then, 10 circles in each direction with palms facing up.

No. 6
Criss-Cross

Position:

Standing or sitting, arms in front of chest, elbows bent

Action:

While keeping upright posture and shoulders down and back, cross hands over each other and then bring them back while pinching shoulder blades down and back.  Keep elbows at 90 degrees.  Then, do the same exercise with the bottom arm on top.

No. 7
Egyptians

Position:

Standing or sitting

Action:

Elbows bent at 90 degrees, slowly turn one arm so one hand is pointing up and one hand is pointing down.  Turn head to side where hand is pointing up.  Then, turn head to other side as arms switch directions.

No. 8
Foam Roller Extensions

Position:

Laying down face up

Action:

Have foam roller horizontal across mid-back, while supporting weight of head with hands. Bend knees and put weight of body on feet and allow foam roller to support remaining body weight. Roll slowly between top of back (T1) to underneath shoulder blades (T10). Take deep breaths in and let out while extending spine over foam roller.

No. 9
Angels on Wall

Position:

Standing with back to wall

Action:

Keep heels, sacrum, shoulder blades, and back of head against wall with hands down and thumbs pointing out.

Then, slowly raise arms while keeping all 4 points against wall.

No. 10
Thoracic Reach-Through Twists

Position:

Hands and knees

Action:

Reach one side arm up to ceiling and then rotate back to center while reaching through to the opposite side as far as is comfortable.

Repeat with opposite side.

No. 11
Beach Side-Bends

Position:

Sitting, hands behind head

Action:

Slowly side-bend to one side while keeping head & neck facing forward.

Core Strength Exercises

No. 12
Superman extensions

Position:

Hands and knees

Action:

Keeping head, spine and hips neutral, slowly raise one hand straight out and opposite side leg straight out, until forming a straight plane with body.

Then bring arm & leg down and repeat with opposite sides.

No. 13
Planks & side planks

Position:

Plank position, & side plank position

Action:

Forward plank is face down on forearms. Keep head and spine in straight line while tightening core muscles and buttocks. Hands can be held together or not touching.  Hold for 30-60 seconds.

Side plank is on one forearm and same-side foot, while facing body to side.  Make straight, neutral line with body while tightening core muscles and buttocks.  Top hand can be held against body or straight up to ceiling as an advanced posture. Hold for 30-60 seconds on each side.

Low Back Exercises

Mckenzie Extension

Do not engage your lower body. This is strictly a press-up with your arms in order to apply some traction to the lower back.

Hold in upward position for 5 seconds, then come to complete rest on floor for 3 seconds.

10 reps.

Cat/Cow

Inhale on extension.

Exhale on flexion.

7 full cycles.

Superman

Slow arm/opposite leg extensions from an all-four starting position.

Do not extend leg/arm/head above a horizontal plank position.

7 full cycles (14 reps total).

Pelvic Tilts

Arch low back slowly on inhale.

Flex low back (tuck) slowly on exhale.

7 full cycles.

Side Bridge (Core Strengthening)

Hold in plank position, keeping straight line angle from feet to head.

Hold for 30 seconds each side and work up to 1 minute per side.

3 sets each side.

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