Deep Neck Flexor Strengthening Supine

Do you have neck pain?  One of the most common components to neck pain is muscle imbalance around the neck and the inability of the deep neck flexor muscles, or neck stability muscles, to work properly to stabilize the neck for day to day activities, work or static postures, and then even more so for more active living or sports. The deep neck flexors are the endurance based small muscles like the core muscles of the neck which help hold our head in a good position for postures or activity.

In this video, we demonstrate a simple basic exercise to help activate the deep neck flexor muscles in a lying down supine position with a small towel behind your neck.

  1. Position the small towel behind your neck to support the middle part of your neck.
  2. Breathe in  and as you breathe out, focus on nodding your chin gently towards to towel so that your neck gently connects to the towel. Try to keep your eyes and chest relaxed as you active your neck muscles gently.  You should not feel any pain.  Imagine that your neck is being lengthened like a small string from the crown of your head as you nod your chin to help decompress the neck.
  3. You should not feel the bigger muscles at the front of the neck work as this might mean that you are pushing too hard.
  4. Try to maintain the gentle hold of the chin nod into the towel for 60-90 seconds if possible.  You may only be able to start for 5-10 seconds initially as these muscles can be fatiguable, but over time we need to train the muscles to work in a holding endurance fashion.
  5. Repeat up to 10 times, as able. Over time, these muscles should be easier to activate and then we can progress your training to a more upright position.

Contact us if you need any assistance with neck pain or weakness.