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neck pain exercise

Quick and Easy Neck Stretches That Help Fix Your Posture

exercise neck pain pain relief

Most of what we do all day involves craning our neck forward:  driving; using phones and computers; eating, cooking, and washing the dishes; chasing after kids and picking them up; and on and on...  

What many people end up with is out-of-alignment neck posture.  

Ideally our ears are directly above our shoulders.  This means our neck is straight, relative to the rest of our spine.  

If you're in a state of neck tension or pain, realignment may take several weeks or even months. 

Once you're there, I think you'll find that it's worth the effort.  Chronic neck pain can lead to jaw tension, grinding teeth, headaches, and migraines.  It's an underlying cause of eye strain as well. 

Below are a couple stretches I like to use in the realignment process.  Think of them as gentle reminders of where you want your head to be relative to the rest of your body.  

Do these at least once per day.  


Take a handful of your hair from the lower, back part of your head.  (Sorry, baldies, you do need some hair for this.  Below is another stretch you don’t need hair for.)

When you have a handful of hair, pull your hair slightly back and up.  As you do this you should feel a nice stretch through the vertebrae (spinal bones) of your neck.  Ideal neck posture is a straight spine all the way up to the top.  A J-shaped spine is the idea, not the S-shaped spine that we were taught years ago.  

A few times throughout the day, do this exercise to remind yourself of proper neck posture.

Another quick neck traction exercise you can do (no hair required):

Lay down on the ground and place the broomstick perpendicular to your body and under your neck.  Place your hands on either side of the stick – on either side of your neck and pull the stick toward the top of your head.  

When it reaches the occipital region – the place where your skull meets your neck bones, you should feel a good stretch through your neck.  

Hold it for 3-5 breaths and repeat 2 or 3 more times.  

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