Ouch, I’ve woken up with a neck ache again! I can’t turn my head from side to side and I feel exhausted and have a headache! Does this sound like you?
Immediately you start to think “what did I do yesterday?” It must have been the way I slept, my pillow, my personal trainer made me do too many crunches, my boss, my partner and the list goes on …. & let’s not forget text neck syndrome!
Try these simple movements to improve the way your neck feels and keep those morning neck aches at bay.
- Sit at the edge of your bed, feet flat on the floor, draw your shoulders back and down and roll them backwards and forwards a few times, then place your fingers lightly on your shoulders and start to rotate your elbows backs and forward, stretch out your arms and continue to rotate your arms around like a helicopter. Continue to breathe naturally whilst doing this. Lift your arms overhead and reach to the ceiling, clap your hands above your head 10 times.
- Whilst sitting, place fingers lightly against your forehead, push your head gently into your hands and feel the front neck muscles tense up then release, do this about 5 times.
- Standing now hip hinge forward, place your hands on your thighs and roll through your spine like an angry cat. Then lengthening your spine, lift your eye gaze up and raise your chin up and down with control, do about 8 repetitions.
- Place your hand on one side of your head and give your head a gentle nudge to the side, lowering the opposite shoulder and repeat on the other side, try not to swing your head. Hold the 3rd one on each side and take 3 deep breaths.
- Lift your arms to shoulder height and extend your fingers by opening up the shoulders blades (protract) then draw the shoulder blades together, keeping the arms still (retract).
- Go to genie arms (one folded over the other) try to move your rib cage from side to side without moving your hips (rib slide)
- Lastly go to lateral flexion of the spine, standing tall, hands interlaced behind the base of the head, lean to one side elbows wide, repeat on the side, maintain natural breathing, perform as many times as feels good.
Pilates is an integrated whole body movement and posture correction exercise routine. It will retrain poor movement patterns, lengthen muscles including your neck. You’ll be able to perform a pushup correctly, hold a plank and ab-curl without neck pain. Make Pilates part of your day!