4 Neck Mobility Exercises for Your Athletes

// Mitigate Migraines with 4 Neck Mobility Exercises

Some athletes have sore necks all day, every day. There are several possible culprits. It could be that their traps and the structures of the thoracic and cervical spine handle a lot of load and throughput. Perhaps they’re positioning in the weight room or on the field is off, and then they add in a bad case of “text neck” while staring at their phone several hours a day. Or maybe they’re in a sport which requires applying power while seated (like rowing or paddling) and as they fatigue, they hunch forward, causing compensations further up the kinetic chain. Whatever the reason, excess stiffness becomes the new normal, and as well as being localized, can also trigger or exacerbate headaches or their even more unpleasant cousin, migraines.

Our neck is always sore!

If this sounds like your athletes we empathize. While no one move is a magic bullet, here are four simple neck mobility exercises for athletes that can help alleviate neck pain and hopefully put paid to those headaches and migraines, too.

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1. Neck Tack and Floss
  1. Use your right hand to place a small mobility ball at the base of the front of your neck on the left side
  2. Twist the ball into your skin and then extend your head slowly up and to the right
  3. Return to the start position and repeat 20 to 30 times. To increase the stimulus, you can pin your left arm behind your back. 
  4. Switch sides

2. Supraclavicular Scrub
  1. Use your right hand to place a small mobility ball just above your left clavicle (collarbone) 
  2. Starting above the inside of the bone, use your right hand to twist the ball into the soft tissues
  3. Slowly work your way along the collarbone to the outside of it
  4. Switch sides

3. T-Spine Overhead Extension on Gemini
  1. Lie on your back on the ground
  2. Position an MWOD Gemini horizontally inside your shoulder blades and at the base of them 
  3. Extend both arms overhead
  4. Bridge your hips up a few inches and then slowly lower them back down
  5. After 15 to 25 reps, move the Gemini slightly higher. Eventually end with it on your traps at the base of your neck.

4. T-Spine Flexion
  1. Repeat steps #1 and #2 from the t-spine overhead extension
  2. Curl your torso into a half sit-up and then slowly lower yourself back down, sinking into the Gemini
  3. Repeat 40 to 50 times

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