Alex Simotas, MD

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

Home > Wellness & Exercise > Exercise Groups > Neck Strengthening

Neck Strengthening

Exercise 1: Axial Extension

  1. Lie on bench with head and shoulders over the edge and arms at the side.
  2. Begin with neck relaxed as shown.
  3. Keeping chin tucked, raise head and shoulders until they are in line with your trunk.
  4. Hold 20 seconds.
  5. Do 3 repetitions once daily.
1-axial-extension

Exercise 2: Scapular Retraction

  1. Lie on your belly with arms at 90 degrees out to the side.
  2. Pinch should blades together as shown.
  3. Raise arms a few inches off the floor.
  4. Do 3 repetitions once daily.
2-scapular

Exercise 3: Scapular Retraction – Upper Back

  1. Sit or stand holding rubber tubing as shown.
  2. While keeping elbows bent and locked against your sides pinch your shoulder blades together as you pull rubber tubing outward.
  3. Hold 5 seconds.
  4. Do 3 repetitions once daily.
3-scapular

Exercise 4: Scapular Retraction

  1. Anchor middle of rubber tubing to solid object.
  2. Hold tubing in both hands, arms straight in front of you as shown.
  3. Pinch shoulder blades backwards as you bed elbows and pull elbows straight backwards.
  4. Hold 5 seconds and slowly relax.
  5. Do _______repetitions ______times per day _____ times per week.
4-scapular

Exercise 5: Upper Back Shoulder

  1. Lie on belly.
  2. Do push ups from knees.
  3. Keep back and neck stabilized in a neutral position.
  4. Hold 2 seconds.
  5. Do ____ repetitions _____ times per day _____ times per week.
5-upper-back

Exercise 6: Active Four-Way Neck Exercises

A. SUPINE HEAD LIFT

  1. Lie on your back (supine) with knees bend and base of head supported on a bed or floor.
  2. Tuck chin in, lift head and hold 5 seconds.
  3. Tuck chin in and lower head.
  4. Do 5 repetitions once daily.
6-4-way
B. LEFT SIDELYING HEAD LIFT (RIGHT EAR TO SIGHT SHOULDER)

  1. Lie on left side with head unsupported.
  2. Position arms and shoulders comfortably.
  3. Relax head down, tuck chin in then lift head to shoulder and hold.
  4. Hold 3 to 5 seconds.
  5. Do 5 repetitions once daily.
6-B-left
C. PRONE HEAD LIFT

  1. Lie prone (on stomach) with head unsupported.
  2. Tuck chin in then lift head up hold.
  3. Hold 3 to 5 seconds.
  4. Tuck chin in and lower head.
  5. Do 5 repetitions once daily.
6-C-prone
D. RIGHT SIDELYING HEAD LIFT (LEFT EAR TO LEFT SHOULDER)

  1. Lie on right side with head unsupported.
  2. Position arms and shoulders comfortably.
  3. Relax head down, tuck chin in then lift head to shoulder and hold.
  4. Hold 3 to 5 seconds.
  5. Do 5 repetitions once daily.
6-D-right

Exercise 7: Shoulder: Progressive Resisted: Extension-Prone

  1. Holding _______ pound weights, bring arms back as shown.
  2. Raise arms from floor, keeping elbows straight.
  3. Do ____ repetitions per set.
  4. Do _______ sets per session.
  5. Do _____times per day _____times per week.
7-shoulder-prone

Exercise 8: Shoulder: Scapular Stabilization: Prone

  1. Holding _______ pound weights, raise both arms out from sides.
  2. Keep elbows straight.
  3. Do ____ repetitions per set.
  4. Do ______ sets per session.
  5. Do _____times per day _____times per week.
8-shoulder

Exercise 9: Shoulder: Scapular: Flexion: Prone

  1. Holding _______ pound weights, raise both arms forward.
  2. Keep elbows straight.
  3. Do ____ repetitions per set.
  4. Do ______ sets per session.
  5. Do _____times per day _____times per week.
9-shoulder