Alex Simotas, MD

Hospital for Special Surgery
Board Certified Physiatrist
Specializing In Spine & Sports Medicine

Home > Wellness & Exercise > Exercise Groups > Neck Basics

Neck Basics

Exercise 1: Shoulder Circles

  1. Begin with shoulders relaxed.
  2. Slowly rotate shoulders backward.
  3. Repeat rotation forward.
  4. Repeat 20 times.
  5. Do this exercise ______ times per day and _____ times per week.

Exercise 2: Shoulder Horizontal Abduction

  1. Stand, grasping your ________ elbow with your hand as shown.
  2. Pull the elbow and the arm across the chest so that you feel a stretch.
  3. Hold 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat _____ times.
  5. Do this exercise ______ times per day and _____times per week.
2Shoulder-Horiz-Abduc

Exercise 3: Shoulder Horizontal Abduction

  1. Stand in a corner about 1-2 feet from wall with hands on the wall as shown.
  2. Lean into corner so that you feel a stretch.
  3. Vary the stretch by moving your arms higher or lower or by standing further away form the wall.
  4. Hold 20 seconds.
  5. Repeat ______ times.
  6. Do this exercise ______ times per day and _____times per week.
3Shoulder-Horiz-Abduc

Exercise 4: Shoulder Abduction / Flexion

  1. Stand grasping ________ elbow with other hand as shown.
  2. Pull your elbow behind and toward your head so that you feel a stretch.
  3. Hold 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat ______ times.
  5. Do this exercise ______ times per day and _____times per week.
4Shoulder-Abduc-Flexion

Exercise 5: Axial Extension

  1. Sit or stand with good posture.
  2. Tuck your chin in and pull your head straight back.
  3. Use hand on chin for a guide, if needed.
  4. Hold 10 seconds.
  5. Repeat ______ times.
  6. Do this exercise ______ times per day and _____ times per week.
5Axial-Extension

Exercise 6: Neck Side Bending

  1. Sit or stand with good posture.
  2. Keeping face forward, tip __________ ear toward shoulder.
  3. Hold 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat ______ times.
  5. Do this exercise ______ times per day and _____times per week.
6Neck-Side-Bending

Exercise 7: Neck Side Bending

  1. Sit or stand with your ________ arm behind your back as shown.
  2. Keeping face forward, sue other hand to bend neck in the opposite direction.
  3. Hold 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat ______ times.
  5. Do this exercise ______ times per day and _____ times per week.
7Neck-Side-Bending

Exercise 8: Neck Flexion

  1. Sit or stand with good posture.
  2. Bend neck forward as shown.
  3. Hold 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat ______ times.
  5. Do this exercise ______ times per day and _____times per week.
8Neck-Flexion

Exercise 9: Back Extension

  1. Sit back against a chair as shown.
  2. Reach upward and lean backward until you feel a stretch.
  3. Hold 20 seconds.
  4. Repeat ______ times.
  5. Do this exercise ______ times per day and _____ times per week.
9Back-Extension

Exercise 10: Upper Back / Neck Rotation

  1. Sit in chair with good posture.
  2. Look over your ________ shoulder and position your arms on the back of the chair as shown.
  3. Use your arms on the back of the chair to provide an extra stretch.
  4. Hold 10 seconds.
  5. Repeat ______ times.
  6. Do this exercise ______ times per day and _____times per week.
10Upper-Back-Neck-Rotate

Exercise 11: Shoulder Flexion

  1. Lie on back as shown, raising ________ arm overhead as far as you can.
  2. Relax, letting the weight of your arm provide the stretch.
  3. Hold 15 seconds.
  4. Repeat ______ times.
  5. Do this exercise ______ times per day and _____times per week.
11Shoulder-Flexion

Exercise 12: Correcting A Forward Head Posture

  1. Correct trunk position by imagining a string pulling from your chest up and forward, at a 45 degree angle.
  2. Tuck your chin straight back, keeping your eyes horizontal.
  3. Nod your head gently, feeling the stretch at the bottom of the skull.
  4. Rotate the bar with the wrist only, not the upper arm.
  5. Repeat ______ times.
  6. Do this exercise ______ times per day and _____times per week.
12Head-Posture