On this page we'll talk about neck exercises and trapezius exercises for men and women.
The neck is often neglected in fitness programs, but since so many people have bad posture it is important to focus on neck strengthening.
Okay, let's go over some basic info on the neck.
The neck and shoulder always work together. If the posture in your neck is bad, your shoulder will be negatively affected, and if the posture in your shoulder is off it will affect your neck.
When you think about the shoulder, you can actually think about the upper arm (humerus) and the scapula (shoulder blade) -- it's actually more complicated but we'll just talk about those two bones here.
Some muscles attach to the upper arm and some muscles attach to the shoulder blade. Most of the muscles that attach to the shoulder blade are anchored to the spine and your neck.
So there is the connection.
The muscles that attach to the shoulder blade are anchored to the neck, and the muscles that attach to the upper arm are anchored to the shoulder blade. So every time you move your shoulder, your neck must be stable and the neck muscles will work.
The trapezius muscle is the largest neck and upper back muscle. It attaches to the base of your head and to all the vertebrae in your neck and mid back. From the spine the trapezius goes over to the shoulder blade.
If you put your hand between your neck and shoulder, you will be on the trapezius. The trapezius is where a lot of people feel tension from stress, carrying objects, or bad posture.
The trapezius is an important muscle because it is both a neck muscle and a shoulder blade muscle. When the trapezius is strong, it will support the neck and the shoulder blade.
Some common trapezius exercises are:
The trapezius will work anytime you move your arms. Here are some other exercises in which the trapezius will get a lot of muscle work.
Bent Over Row
Lat Pull Down or Pull Ups
Lateral Raises for the Shoulders
Reverse Flyes for the Shoulders
Over Head Press for the Shoulders
Click here to learn all of the best trapezius exercises.
In addition to these trapezius exercises to strengthen the neck, you can also perform additional neck exercises.
Chin Tucks are one of the most important exercises for maintaining good posture. And after mastering chin tucks, you can move on to simple neck range of motion exercises.
After neck range of motion exercises, you can add isometric exercises for the neck, and then add resistance exercises for the neck.
For most people chin tucks, range of motion, and isometric exercises are appropriate for strengthening the neck. For athletes such as boxers, football players, wrestlers, and fighters it is important to further strengthen the neck with resistance neck exercises.
A strong and stable neck is important to a strong and stable upper body and shoulder. If the neck is not stable, the shoulder blade will be less stable. And if the shoulder blade is not stable, the upper arm will be less stable.
The body is a chain.
Everything is connected, so make sure you don't neglect your neck and the trapezius.
Yours in health,
Dr. Charles PT/PT
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