Resistance Band Exercises for the Neck

Young woman doing fitness training
Woman using resistance bands. (Image: Paul/F1online/Getty Images)

The muscles in the neck are often overlooked in exercise regimes. However, it's particularly important to work them, because they support the head. Building strength in these muscles can help to prevent injuries such as muscle sprains and strains. The neck is made up of several muscles, and resistance band exercises can help to tone and strengthen them.

Good Morning To You

The good morning exercise helps to build strength and power in the neck muscles and thus is an essential exercise to include in your neck workout. Secure one end of the resistance band under your feet and place the other end around the back of your neck. Stand up straight to start and then bend at the waist. Bend your knees slightly at the same time while lowering yourself until your chest is parallel to the floor. During the exercise, you're resisting against the band and you should feel a light stretch in your neck. Stand back up and then repeat.

Activate Your Neck

To work the neck muscles, include the band neck activation exercise in your workout. Stand up, leaning your torso forward slightly. Secure one end of the resistance band in front of you, at about thigh-level and place the opposite end around the back of your head so the band spans around the back of your head and across the sides of your face, down to the anchor point. Bend your head down a few inches to loosen the resistance on the band, then pull it back up to tighten the band again, and repeat.

Try the Look Always

The look always exercise is one of the most effective resistance band exercises for the neck. Stand straight up, feet about shoulder-width apart. Hold one end of the resistance band off to the right side with your right hand and wrap the other end around your head. Position your right hand far enough off to the side to create resistance in the band, so the band is taut. Rotate your head, turning it to the left until it's sideways and then return to your starting position. Repeat, then switch sides.

Variations You Can Try

There are many variations to these resistance band neck exercises. If you don't have resistance bands available, you can always have a workout partner use their hands to gently create resistance against your movements. Your partner would simply use their own body weight to create the resistance by leaning toward you on an angle and from the side.

Important Safety Considations

Always consult your doctor or other medical professional before starting on any new exercise program. You may also want to work with a fitness professional before starting, especially if you have existing or previous neck or back injuries. Always start off light and gradually build up resistance with these exercises, as opposed to taking on too much at one time and putting too much stress on your neck.

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