The following neck exercises are laid out in a progression. These are progressed from ones we use in rehabilitation to ones we use in wrestling. If you have not been doing these, start with the isometrics and as you gain strength and as these get easier, move to the next level of exercise.
- Level I - cervical isometrics - keeping your head stationary, you are going to push your head in various directions (like depicted here) without allowing your head to move. You should do forward/backwards, rotation and side bending, 15-20 reps each direction, 2-3 sets.
- Level II - cervical stabilization with CLX - this video shows how to do this same exercise against resistance. The video only shows one direction but you can do the same thing in multiple directions.
- Level III - wresting neck exercises with hands - this series should be done only once a base level of strength in your neck is obtained. Start with using your hands as support then progress to no hands.
- Level IV - neck planks - this is the most advanced level and should only be done once all other levels achieved. Should start at 10 sec and progress to 30 sec holds.
- Retraction with external rotation - start with standing upright with band in your hands, palms facing up and elbows at 90 degrees. Retract (pinch together) your shoulder blades and hold that position. While holding that position, externally rotate (rotate out) your arm and pause for a 3 sec count. Slowly return to the starting position while holding your shoulders back. Repeat that for 3 sets of 10-20 reps.
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