Neck Muscles And The Best Workouts
Strong and stretched neck muscles means protected brain and the healthy spine. For boxers or martial artist fond of taking strong hits to the head, working on the neck muscles shouldn't be a new thing.
The truth is that neck muscles keep you safe. Apart from protecting your brains and keeping your neck healthy, most of the neck muscles are also responsible for most of your facial expressions, chewing, talking and even seeing.
Just like any other muscle in the human body, stretching, burning fat and muscle building exercises is vital for your neck. To get the clear picture of what I am saying, let us first go through some of the important neck muscles.
Neck Muscles And Their Functions
Front Neck Muscles
Sternocleidomastoid - sternocleidomastoid muscles make rotation and flexing of the head possible.
Infrahyoid - The infrahyoid muscles connects the sternum to the respiratory skeleton and handle movements of the tongue. They connect the mandible and the tongue to the hyoid bone.
Back Neck Muscles
Levator scapula - Runs from the neck to the shoulder and mainly responsible for lifting your shoulders and turning your head.
Splenius muscles - Runs from the back of the head to the back vertebrae. They rotate and tilt your head backwards.
Suboccipitals - Runs from the back of the skull to the neck vertebrae. They handle the up and down movements of the head.
Posterior cervical muscles - These muscles enable movements of the head backwards possible.
What you mustn't forget is that just like any other muscle in your body, these muscles needs exercises. Weak neck muscles mean pain in the neck and risk of injury. Having that in mind let us take a look at some of the best workouts that are beneficial for keeping your neck healthy and active.
Best Workouts For Neck Muscles
1. Going Against The Resistance
To do this neck muscles workout, you need to find something like a rope, bladder or simply a towel. If it is a towel, roll it so that it resembles a rope. Wrap it (Rope, bladder or towel) around the back of your head holding it with your two hands and that should be at your front pulling forward and acting as resistance.
Pull the towel forwards with your hands putting a slight resistance for your back muscles until you are facing downwards. Lastly, try to go against the resistance by raising your head while at the same time pulling the towel downwards.
Do five to eight sets, relax and repeat the exercises until you feel the effect on the back of your neck. You can do the same for both the left and right neck muscles by just pulling the towel into a different direction that is, left and right. This exercise is meant to tone your neck's back muscles.
2. Head Strap With Weights
To make this neck muscles workout possible, you need a head strap with weights at the other end. With the head strap around your head and the weights on the other head, your feet should be wider apart than your shoulders. Your torso should be slightly parallel with the floor and the weights on the floor.
Having that in place, slowly move your body upwards until it is perpendicular to the floor while facing the floor with your chin touching the upper part of your chest. With your hands on your knees, try to lift the weights with your neck's back muscles. Do several sets and repetitions. These exercises are meant to work on your back and side muscles.
3. Tightening Neck Muscles Workout
This one is simple and doesn't need any equipment or weights. What you need is to tighten your neck muscles and move your head in different directions. You will be required to do the following head movements while tightening your neck.