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PDF: How To Do The Neck Flexion

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How to do the Neck Flexion

This exercise supports movement through a range of motion while in an upright position to develop resistance from horizontal forces against the neck muscles. If you correctly perform this exercise, your lower back should develop a curve.

Frequency:

Start with six repetitions per session of the neck flexion exercise. You should feel a strain, but no pain. Perform six sessions throughout the day and when the six repetitions no longer cause muscle strain, move up to 10 repetitions per session.

For a more advanced program, perform 6-10 neck flexion repetitions every hour per day.

For an athletic program, progress to 15-20 repetitions per session, where you feel strain but no pain. Work up to multiple sets per day.

REMEMBER: Safety first! Always decrease resistance and repetitions to avoid pain. Increase repetitions and resistance in small increments over time.

To fully understand the Neck Flexion motion, stand up and nod toward someone like you are agreeing with them. The body automatically hinges the neck at C-5 (cervical vertebrae 5), which is the motion the Neck Flexion uses.

You can use your bare hands to perform the Neck Flexion:

1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and shoulders relaxed. Gently stretch your neck back and look up into a fully extended position.

2. Softly apply force to your face with your fingertips.

Illustrative Example of Steps 1 and 2 of the Neck Flexion with Bare Hands3. Keep applying light pressure to your face and move your neck with your muscles against your hands’ resistance until your chin is in a level position. The motion is a slow, singular nod of the head from looking at the ceiling to bringing it to chin level. Your nose should start off at 12 o’clock (ceiling), as shown in illustrated Step 2, and end up at the 9 o’clock (chin level) position illustrated Step 3. Do not push the face and neck forward; stay aligned and simply arc the head down with a nod motion.

4. Let your neck muscles relax, while gently moving your neck back with your hands’ continued resistance. Maintain a level chin, which will flex the lower back curve.

Illustrative Example of Steps 3 and 4 of the Neck Flexion with Bare Hands

Illustrative Example of the Neck Flexion Exercise with Bare Hands

 

You can use the Neck Shaper to perform the Neck Flexion:

You can also perform this exercise with the Neck Shaper, a device with a forehead and chin rest that can be comfortably worn over the face. You may grip the Neck Shaper with or without the bar (between the forehead and chin). However, we recommend using the bar to maintain ideal body symmetry and prevent uneven application of resistance.

1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and shoulders relaxed. Gently stretch your neck back and look up into a fully extended position.

 2. Hold the Neck Shaper on your face and apply a slight force with your hands.

 3. Keep applying light pressure to your face and move your neck with your muscles against the neck shaper resistance until your chin is in a level position. The motion is a slow, singular nod of the head from looking at the ceiling to bringing it to chin level. Your nose should start off at 12 o’clock (ceiling) and end up at the 9 o’clock (chin level) position. Do not push the face and neck forward; stay aligned and simply arc the head down with a nod motion.

4. Let your neck muscles relax, while gently moving your neck back with the Neck Shaper’s continued resistance. Maintain a level chin, which will flex the lower back curve.

 

Advanced:

You can use the Neck Shaper laying down:

Once you have graduated to the athletic program level, you can add weights or use exercise bands to increase resistance while laying down on a bench.

1. Make a neck support roll from a towel as described in “How to do the Spinal Twist” or use a Neck Shaper roll in a comfortable density and diameter.

2. Add standard 1” plate weights to the Neck Shaper bar and slide them toward the center, leaving room for your hands on each end of the bar. Start with 2.5-pound weights and work up from there after you test your strength. In the alternative, you can attach two resistance bands, one to each end of the bar, to simulate weight resistance for the exercise. Tie the opposite end of the resistance bands to the bottom of the bench, or an object strategically placed on the floor to allow fluid movement and resistance during the exercise.

Illustrative Example of the Neck Flexion Exercise with Weights3. Lie down on a standard work out bench, facing up with the neck roll positioned under the cervical neck bones. Move the neck roll so it is fully supported by the surface, but at the very end of the bench. Position your body so when you rotate your neck toward the floor during the neck flexion, your skull will travel down without being obstructed by the bench.

Illustrative Example of doing the Neck Flexion Exercise on a Work Bench

 4. Gently stretch your neck back towards the floor into a fully extended position where you feel muscle strain but no pain. If the strain is too great, remove weights and use something lighter, or use hand resistance until you become accustomed to the lying down position for the Neck Flexion exercise.

Illustrative Example of Neck Flexion Exercise

5. Push against the neck shaper resistance with your neck muscles to nod the head until your chin is in a level position. Do not push straight up with the neck, but rather rotate like a hinge at C-5 and bring to chin level. The motion is a slow singular nod of the head to bring the chin level. Keep your back flat on the bench and do not lift off the bench while performing the exercise. To fully understand the Neck motion, stand up and nod toward someone like you are agreeing with them. The body automatically hinges the neck at C-5 (cervical vertebrae 5), which is the motion the Neck Flexion uses.

Using the Neck Shaper gives you the mechanical advantage:

Illustrative Example of Posture Comparison from using or not using the Neck Shaper

All our How to Guides are free and written based on Dr. John S. Scherger’s Manuals and Physics Demonstrations:

PDF: Exercises We Recommend And Exercises To Avoid

PDF: How To Do The Pelvic Tilt With Power Cushion Or Over Sleeping Bag

PDF: How To Do The Sit-Up With Power Cushion Or Over Sleeping Bag

PDF: How To Do The Spinal Twist

PDF: How To Evaluate Spinal Curvature And Athletic Ability

Now you can train to improve, restore, and maintain the ideal S-shape spinal posture instead of accentuating or creating the incorrect neutral spine.

www.SpinalFitness.com