Here’s an easy and quick way to strengthen the muscles in your upper back and neck. Wait–why do you need to strengthen those muscles?
Here’s why you should strengthen your back and neck:
- A weak back hurts. A strong back helps hold you upright and avoids pain.
- When the muscles in the front of your neck are stronger than the back neck muscles your head goes forward. A ‘forward head’ causes upper back pain and muscle strain.
Here’s how you can strengthen your upper back and neck muscles:
This is so easy–you can do it in bed. When you are lying flat on your back you are in pretty neutral posture; your head is about where it should be and you don’t have to think about your posture. It’s easier to get strong muscles in your back and neck when gravity isn’t pulling you forward.
If you need a small neck roll to support your neck in a natural curve, that’s fine.
If you need a small flat pillow or folded hand towel behind your head to avoid neck strain, that’s fine, too. Maybe at a later date you will discover that you don’t need to prop your head as much.
1. Squeeze your shoulder blades toward your spine. Hold for several seconds. f you can’t do it then just pretend you are doing it. Your body will start to remember after a while. This helps strengthen the muscles in your upper back.
2. Position your head in the most comfortable position, as close to neutral as possible. Gently press your neck into the mattress. GENTLY! Hold for several seconds. This activates the muscles in the back of your neck and strengthens them.
Always do these movements thoughtfully, slowly and gently. This isn’t a race. Strength will come over time.
Note: Always start slowly! Do just a couple of times the first and second days. Then you can add one or two more movements each day. If you do too many too soon you will have soreness just because the muscles are doing something they haven’t done in a while.
But it’s a very good way to strengthen the muscles in your neck and upper back easily and painlessly.