Theraband for Strengthening the Neck

Lie down on the floor with your knees bent. Place a theraband under your neck. Feel with you hand on the back of the neck from the head toward the base of the neck. Notice how the neck curves with the apex in the middle (C3). Now, if your neck does not have a smooth curve with an apex in the middle, feel for a place where it may be too far forward. It tends to be at about C5. If you feel you have a smooth curve or just don't know, place the band in the center of the neck. If you can tell you have a vertebrae such as C5 too forward, then place the a band at this point. It is important to set up your spine so you can allow for the movement to happen. First, Feel the upper chest, the clavicles and upper sternum (manubrium) lift slightly. This places this area into a little extension. Then tuck your chin to flex the upper cervical spine. Hold this while you imagine moving the vertebrae back into the band. The effort is easy, just enough to move the vertebrae and feel the deep front neck muscles engage. If you neck is too straight, it is probably best not to do this exercise but practice the cervical strengthening with the pole in last week's post.