Category Archives: neck stretches

neck stretches

Back strengthening exercises, stomach exercises and spinal mobility exercises – active sitting program part V

In the previous posts you learned about simple stretching, mobility and back strengthening exercises. You were introduced to an important concept when engaging in back strengthening exercises. It is important to include stomach exercises into your workout to help regain a good muscle balance. Please be sure to review the general guidelines about spinal movement before continuing with the next set of exercises.
Pelvic Mobility sideways:

spinal mobility - back strengthening exercises - stomach exercises - active sitting

Start by sitting on the ball resting your hands on the table in front of you.

spinal mobility - back strengthening exercises - stomach exercises - active sitting

1. Keep the shoulders still and rest the wrists on the table while rolling the ball sideways.
2. Lift one cheek of your buttocks of the ball while rolling sideways.
3. Roll the ball over to the other side.
• Repeat 10 times

Pelvic lifts sideways:

1. As above roll the ball away to one side.
2. When lifting the pelvis up sideways, hold this position for about 5 to 10 seconds. This exercise will strengthen the muscles of you hips and lower back. It’s one of the more subtle yet effective and important back strengthening exercises.
3. Repeat the exercise on the other side. • Repeat 3 to 5 times on both sides


Variation for strength:

spinal mobility - back strengthening exercises - stomach exercises - active sitting

1. Start as above, lifting one side of the pelvis of the ball.
2. Let go of the table and reach with the arm/hand towards the ground on the side you are lifting the pelvis. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Neck stretches variation:

1. Start as above, lifting one side of the pelvis of the ball.
2. Let go of the table and reach with the arm/hand towards the ground on the side you are lifting the pelvis. While keeping your head facing forward drop you ear towards your should. Hold the stretch for about 15 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Neck stretches – the third set of exercises in the active sitting program part III

Neck Stretches in the Active Sitting Exercises

In the previous post you were introduced to two simple neck stretches and mobility exercises. Please be sure to review the general guidelines about spinal movement before continuing with the next set of exercises. As a quick reminder, avoid head movements in more than one direction. That means you only tilt your head but don’t turn it at the same time. Don’t try to mobilise or do neck stretches were you are twisting and turning or rolling the head.

Ear to Shoulder Neck Mobility

neck stretches

1. Start with the head being upright, shoulders are back and your back is straight, rest your hands in your lap.
2. Drop your head away sideways, bringing the ear towards the shoulder. Make sure to keep the chin up.

• Perform this 3 to 5 times on each side

Neck Stretches:
1. In order to stretch the neck muscles while doing the above exercise, drop one hand down and let your arm hang along the body.

2. Now drop the head away from this side towards the opposite shoulder. By pushing the hand towards the floor, you can increase the stretching feeling.
Again hold this position for about 10 seconds.
• Repeat 3 times on both sides


neck stretches

1. Pull the shoulders back. Make sure not to arch the back. To ensure a good spinal position, keep the tummy muscles tight.

2. Push the shoulders forward, letting your hands rest in your lap and round the back a little. Extend your arms out forward and stretch the muscles in your shoulders by pushing your arms forwards

3. Shrug the shoulders pulling them up to the ears as hard as you can. Hold this position for 3 seconds and then relax. Avoid holding your breath.

• Repeat all of the above 3 to 5 times

Look out for Active Sitting Part IV for more exercises.

Neck stretches – great exercises to do while sitting in work – active sitting program part II

The following set of neck stretches will help you relax you neck muscles. They will also mobilize your neck. Moving your back and neck reduces the adverse effects of inactivity through prolonged sitting. The neck stretches and the exercises in our active sitting program mobilize your joints, strengthen your musculature, stretch tight and tense muscles and increase your overall level of energy. The exercises are easily done and can be repeated frequently during the day. The more you engage in the simple routine the less likely you will suffer from the effects of continuous inactivity.

Spinal movements should be unilateral, the movement should only take place in one direction. We should for example avoid twisting and bending the spine at the same time. This applies to exercises as well as daily movements. Exercises or movements to ‘loosen up’ such as rolling the head can cause damage rather than being helpful and should be completely avoided. Be sure to review the general guidelines which apply to neck stretches as well as all the other exercises you will find on this site.

Spinal movements should also avoid hyper-extension of the back, you should not curve the back backwards. Again, some exercises such as dropping the head back should therefore be avoided.

When exercising on the ball, sit upright and allow the spine to be in its natural curve and in good alignment. Breath normally during all neck stretches. Tighten the muscles in your stomach (simply pull your stomach in) as the musculature supports the lower back, stabilizes the hip and makes the exercise more effective. Hold on to the edge of the table or rest your wrists on the edge of the table, unless instructed otherwise.




1. Push the head forward, as far as possible, while keeping the shoulders back.

2. Pull the head back, keeping the chin down. Hold your head in this double chin position, then push it forward again.

• Repeat exercise 3 to 5 times

The above is a mobility exercise to improve joint functionality. To use it as one of our neck stretches

1. push the head forward as before.

2. Then pull the head back and down again and hold this position for about 10 seconds, feeling a stretch in the back of the head and neck. • Repeat stretch 3 times

Head Turn

neck stretches

1. Keeping the shoulders straight and still and rest your hands in your lap.

2. Turn your head as far as possible, looking over your shoulder. Repeat on the other side. Compare the two sides and see if you have equal mobility when turning your head.

• Repeat 3 to 5 times


You will find Part III of the Active Sitting Program and more neck stretches in the next post.


Active sitting – deep breathing exercises a set of simple exercises you can do while in work

In our active sitting program we introduce deep breathing exercises into our working day.

What does active sitting mean? The active sitting program is an exercise program that will loosen our often tight and sore muscles. The exercises will make you joints work better again by lubricating them. As well as that they will strengthen and stretch our muscles. This helps us to maintain a good posture. All exercises are done sitting on the exercise ball. The ball on its own is a good way to keep the otherwise passive position of sitting relatively active.

deep breathing exercises, back strengthening exercises, good posture, good sitting posture

Many people sit for a long period of time each day. Many of us sit in work. We also sit while we take our meals. We sit when we travel. We sit while watching television or a movie. The list is long. When you add up all the hours you sit every day you might discover you sit for most of the day.

Unfortunately many people slouch while they sit. Combine that with the fact that most people sit so much we soon realise that their bad sitting posture can causes them back problems.

A good indicator of the state of our posture is our breathing. A posture which enables us to take a deep breath is naturally upright and straight. As we slouch our breathing becomes shallow. Our chest becomes restricted, depriving us of one of our main sources of energy. As the breathing is shallow the body accumulates high levels of carbon dioxide causing us to get tired. Internal organs can be compressed and blood flow to these organs can be restricted. As a result their functionality can be reduced.

Sitting upright enables us to breath more deeply allowing our body to work more efficiently. Likewise deep breathing exercises can improve our posture. Deep breathing exercises can therefore help people with back problems, too.

Deep Breathing Exercises:

deep breathing exercises, good posture

1. Slowly take a deep breath and as your chest rises, feel how your thoracic vertebrae start straightening up without the conscious use of any other musculature such as your back muscles.
2. Exhale and let the shoulders, torso and chin fall down and forward a little. Repeat the exercise a few times.
3. We can enhance this simple exercise when sitting on the ball by gently rolling backward when inhaling and forward when exhaling. By rolling back and forth on the ball we mobilize the entire spine during this exercise. By simply focusing on our breathing we can thereby achieve an improvement in our sitting posture. Try to correct your posture in this way as often as possible during your working day. Allow your spine to be more upright, assuring good breathing and thereby increasing your energy levels.

You can also try another variation of the above deep breathing exercise. Again make sure you sit upright before you commence the activity.

1. Place one hand on you chest. Place the other hand on your stomach.

2. Take a deep breath. Notice which of your hand rises as you breath in. Notice how your chest and/or stomach drop as you exhale.

3. On the next inhalation try to let your breath make your stomach rise.

4. On exhaling pull you stomach in and get a sense of squeezing the air out with your stomach muscles.