Neck Strengthening Progression in 4 Point Kneeling – Part 3

Here we are at Body Works Sports Physiotherapy to look at a functional neck strengthening progression for the deep neck flexors. This helps improve strength in your neck for day-to-day function, better postural endurance, and returning to sport.


  • Start in a hands and knees position with your shoulders lined up over top of your hands, and hips over top of your knees
  • Find a neutral position in your neck and her upper back.
  • Think about nodding in your chin and lengthening the neck, and a little bit of softness through the upper back.
  • That’s our starting position. It’s important that we can find it before we progress on to the next part of the exercise.
  • If this is too difficult then in the beginning, we work on just finding this position and teaching the muscles to be able to hold the weight of the head against gravity before progressing onto the rest of the exercise.

Functional Neck Strengthening Progression

If you feel that this is okay and comfortable to do, then we would work on functionally progressing this to control the movement one vertebrae at a time into a forward flexion.

  • So thinking about the access of movement starting at the ears and slowly nodding in the chin bringing one vertebra at a time down towards the ground slowly with breath.
  • When you get to the bottom of this position it will feel like the head is quite heavy and there will be a little bit of softening through the upper back.
  • Now on the way back up then we don’t want the head to initiate the motion we want to think about the motion being initiated first from the mid back
  • Think about lifting through here and the next vertebrae coming up and slow lifting
  • The head comes last as the lift when we come back up, so slowly working one vertebrae at a time coming back to neutral.

This can be quite fatiguing, so often in the beginning we only do a couple repetitions depending upon when you hit fatigue. Fatigue is more important than repetitions here. Work until you start to feel fatigue, and if you cannot control the motion any longer then it is best to take a break and go again after a rest period.

Check out the other videos in this series