5 Core Exercises to Prevent Neck Pain

I don’t know about you, but neck pain has become a chronic issue in my life. Usually, this results from sleep posture or a lousy office slouch. However, there are ways to prevent this discomfort. Read below for five core exercises to help reduce neck pain and stiffness. 

If you wake up with an aching neck, it may be hard to accept that the problem didn’t begin overnight. However, it usually takes many years to develop neck pain.  

Your neck, or cervical spine, is made up of the seven most minor vertebrae, and it’s subject to the same strain as your backbone. Arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and weakened muscles can degenerate the spine. Over time, the damage takes a toll, and we end up with a painful neck.  

To help improve your core (that supports your neck), I’d like to introduce 5 easy exercises to improve discomfort. If you have sharp or persistent neck pain, especially if connected with pain, weakness, or numbness in an arm, please contact your doctor. Now, to begin: 

Cobra Core Exercise

I recommend a good yoga mat because you’ll be spending some time on the floor. The trade-off is that Cobra provides a great yoga stretch without stressing your neck and shoulders.  

To begin, place your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders. Now, extend your elbows until they are straight, keeping your hips against the floor. Hold for TWO deep breaths, and then repeat five more times. 

To watch a quick video on how it’s done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdbhgXnyCuw

Bent Knee Reverse Crunch

This exercise requires no upper-body work except activating your core to stabilize the body. Lie flat on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat. Contract your abs, flatten your lower back into the floor, and then rest your arms at your sides. Make sure to keep the knees bent and your core engaged as you draw your knees into your chest. Pause and return your feet to the floor without allowing your lower back to rise off the floor.

Since seeing is believing, watch this quick 15-second video: 

Front Plank on a Table

Stand facing a desk or countertop with your heels together. Squeeze your core and lower your upper body down onto the surface on your elbows. Step back on the balls of your feet until your entire frame makes a straight plank to the ground; you should not be bent at the waist. Hold for fifteen to sixty seconds and repeat twice.

Single-Leg Raise

This is a simpler exercise that only requires a chair. Sit upright in a chair with your palms resting on your legs and your feet on the ground. Now, take a deep breath out as you slowly lift your leg as high as you comfortably can. Feel that stretch? Next, return to your starting position and repeat about 8-10 times for each leg. 

Alternating Superman/Swimmer

As most of these exercises start on your stomach with arms extended above your head and elbows locked. Now, with legs straight in front of you, raise your right arm from the shoulder while raising your left straight. As you raise each leg, switch and exhale. Aim for 10-15 reps on each side.

Finally…

Did these core exercises ease your neck pain? I’d love to hear your thoughts at hello@heartandsoulblog.com. Also, if you found this helpful, be sure to check out 5 Easy Back Exercises You Can Do From Home. Please be sure to subscribe to the Heart & Soul newsletter to receive more healthy tips straight to your inbox each Friday.  

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