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Strong neck muscles can go a long way in helping to prevent neck pain. And these neck strengthening exercises are a great way to strengthen your neck muscles.

Anytime you exercise or work muscles, it is a good idea to warm them up. Moist heat works well to get the muscles loose and ready to work. 15-20 minutes is the recommended time.

Let’s get started. Make sure you keep your neck in a neutral position with all these exercises, lined up with your spine. You should start off with a very light resistive band for the neck muscles since they are smaller muscles. I will use yellow for these exercises, whic

h is the lightest band. Make sure you don’t choke yourself while doing these!

For the first set of exercises, put the band on the outside of your head on the side you want to strengthen. Then hold it on the opposite side. Don’t let the band slip off your head and pop you! Now bring your ear down towards your shoulder, but try not to lift your shoulder up towards your ear and keep it down. Slowly take your ear down, and slowly come back up. You don’t have to go far, just make sure you are controlling the band with the exercise, and try not to move your whole body. Then switch sides.

The next exercise is a chin tuck. This is not taking your chin to your chest, but it is actually pulling or retracting it inwards. You will have a lot of chins if you do this correctly. Now put the band behind your head, and hold the band in front of you. Tuck your chin in and hold it for 3-5 seconds and come back out. If you can’t keep it from sliding on your hair, you can wrap it around the back of your neck, but you might not get quite as much resistance.

Finally, you will do a neck rotation. This time, you will wrap the band behind your head and cross it in front of you, so there is an X in the band. Hold the band in front and slightly out to the sides. Rotate your head slowly to one side, and then to the other. This is like you are looking over your shoulder behind you.

You can also ice your muscles with the Sunny Bay Neck Wrap after you exercise for 10-15 minutes to cool the muscles and help prevent inflammation.