Like flexibility in any other part of the body, neck flexibility is vital in maintaining overall health while preventing injury and strain in the neck.
The neck is a fragile part of the body, so choosing your exercises carefully is more important than with other muscle groups. This will prevent misalignments with exercises that can strain and injure the neck due to poor movement dynamics or improper load. Fortunately, you don’t have to play any guessing games in choosing your neck exercises for flexibility gains. You’ve come to the right place!
We’ve constructed this list of the top neck flexibility exercises to reduce tension and strain on the neck while improving posture, strength, mobility, and flexibility. To learn more, continue reading below! First, let’s talk about the importance of neck flexibility - and how it differs from neck mobility.
Why Should You Do Neck Flexibility Exercises?
Neck flexibility exercises are essential to improve mobility. Let’s clarify the difference between mobility and flexibility real quick. The two are different, though they coincide in a manner of speaking. And, some people use them interchangeably - which is incorrect. Flexibility is the joint’s ability to move through a range of motion without pain. It is also a passive movement that requires the help of another limb to reach the extended point of movement and hold it—for example, bending down to touch your toes with your hands and maintaining the position.
Mobility is an active movement. For example, bending down to touch your toes and then returning to a standing position to repeat the motion. Mobility requires the strength to hold the flexibility and maintain the movements.
Now, knowing the difference between the two, we need flexibility exercises for the neck to improve mobility which aids in injury prevention. In addition, enhancing flexibility in the neck can remove stress and tension, which can extend out from the neck to other parts of the body.
What are the Best Neck Flexibility Exercises?
If you’re looking for the best neck exercises for flexibility, look no further! These movements will help you improve your posture and relieve your neck of stress and tension that doesn’t just make life uncomfortable - it eventually result in injury.
If you’d like to learn more about exercising your neck, view our complete guide on neck training!
Locked Neck Body Turn (Iron Neck)Using the Iron Neck, the Locked Neck Body Turn uses the whole spinal column to turn by relying on the hips and shoulder blades. The core is engaged while turning.
Begin in a shoulder-width stance. Place the hands together in front of you as a reference point. Rotate one hip to one side, turning one direction, then another in a 180-degree turn. The neck and body move in the same motion and speed.
Iso Hold Thoracic C. A. R. (Controlled Articular Rotation) (Iron Neck)Enter a kneeling lunge position. Extend both arms out in front of you. Retract one shoulder blade and open up through the thoracic spine. Return to the starting position and repeat in the other direction to alternate hands.
Make sure to switch legs and repeat the motion on the opposite leg.
Reverse Nordic (Iron Neck)For this exercise, set both knees down on the ground with your legs behind you and the tops of your feet on the floor. Maintain a straight line from the top of the head down to the knees.
Use the posterior chain, which includes the glutes and back, to enter the reverse nordic position. You should feel a big stretch in the anterior chain, which consists of the quads and hip flexors.
Lock Neck Body Turn In A Deep Squat (Iron Neck)Begin in a standing position. Next, enter a squat, maintaining the position. Finally, repeat the exercise instructions for the Lock Neck Body Turn exercise to complete this movement for a great neck flexibility exercise.
Lateral ExtensionTo begin this excellent neck flexibility exercise, start in a neutral neck position with your gaze straight ahead. Then, slowly begin to lean your head to the left. For extra resistance, use your left hand to press down, engaging your neck muscles to push against the resistance as an opposing force. Hold this position for about five seconds before returning to the starting position.
Repeat the movement on the opposite side. We encourage you to do 5-10 repetitions per side for optimal results. This efficient exercise is excellent for doing at work to help improve neck flexibility and prevent stiffness in the neck. Working at a desk and staring at a computer makes it easy for one’s posture to become poor, resulting in a stiff neck. Performing this exercise during work can decrease the risk of a stiff and tense neck!
Start in a neutral neck position with your gaze straight ahead. Slowly turn your head to the left. Hold the position for about ten seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
This neck flexibility exercise is also significant because it can be done at work without equipment or moving around from your seat. To get the most benefit from this exercise, repeat it often throughout the day to relieve tension and stress in the neck.
Getting the Most Out of Neck Exercises for Flexibility
If you want to get the most out of neck exercises for flexibility, continue reading below for the best tips and steps!
Complement Your Flexibility Training with Strength Training & Posture Improvement
Neck flexibility exercises are only the first step to improving overall neck health. Other important factors to work on include strength, posture improvement, and more!
If you desire to increase neck mass for a thick aesthetic neck to coincide with your physique, or if you simply desire to strive harder to protect your neck from injury, check out our post for the best neck exercises for mass and injury prevention. These exercises can be effortlessly added to your health and wellness routine and are perfect for athletes looking to protect their necks from whiplash.
For those struggling with bad posture, we recommend checking out our post discussing how to fix forward head syndrome with neck posture exercises. Forward neck posture is essentially poor neck posture. A person’s head juts forward to extend over the chest. This issue is often seen in office workers or anyone looking down at their phone. These exercises correct this unideal posture often referred to as “tech neck.”
There are loads of other neck exercises that can help improve other issues found in the neck. Our neck tightening exercises eliminate turkey neck and saggy skin, for example, which is often seen in people that have lost a lot of weight or as an invariable byproduct of aging ---unfortunately. Or, if you’re struggling with a pinched nerve in the neck, we have other exercises that can provide immediate relief from this painful injury.
The point is, you should round out your training with other types of exercises as well to build a strong, healthy, pain-free neck. Flexibility is just one piece of the puzzle. In a grander scheme, exercises are really only one part of the equation themselves. You also need to put an emphasis on recovery.
Make Time for Recovery
Without recovery, there are no results. Recovery, particularly sleep and taking rest days, are essential in promoting necessary recovery time for your neck and muscles to heal, adapt, and adjust to the new routine of stretching and performing exercises.
If you desire results, we highly recommend that you get 7-8 hours of quality sleep a night and drink plenty of water. This will be essential to your overall neck health and your neck exercise routine results.
Consider Your Diet
Balanced nutrition is crucial in promoting results and getting the most out of your hard work and effort.
The quality of what you eat can make or break the overall results of your neck training or any training. A healthy diet that strengthens the immune system to protect against disease is a commonly known piece of information, but it can also encourage better results and recovery. It can shorten recovery time, rejuvenate the body, and protect it against injury. That’s why having a balanced and healthy diet is so frequently spoken of----because it’s important!
Add Some Equipment to Take Things Up a Notch
You will want to invest in some equipment to step up your game using neck flexibility exercises. And not just any equipment!
Iron Neck’s exercise equipment for neck muscles is specially designed to eliminate neck pain and reverse poor posture. Each piece of high-quality equipment empowers magnificent results in your neck training routine.
Our resistance training belts and neck weight harness are some of the most durable equipment for the neck. This equipment safely provides resistance to encourage strength and posture improvement in the neck. Using these pieces of equipment also drastically improves flexibility and mobility for the ultimate injury prevention in the neck.
Final Thoughts on the Top Flexibility Exercises for the NeckWorking on neck flexibility is a great tool to prevent injury and improve posture. However, if you’re looking to step up your game, Iron Neck’s equipment is customized specifically for the neck. These high-quality pieces of equipment safely create resistance so that the neck can be strengthened while improving mobility and flexibility, which are all essential for injury prevention in the neck.
Get started today with the top flexibility exercises for the neck with Iron Neck!