One of the biggest complaints I get is “How can I avoid neck pain when I work out?” The main thing to keep in mind is that with most exercise routines you will work the neck slightly. Think about it- just lifting a barbell, you may flex your biceps or chest mainly, but you will also flex the majority of the neck muscles as well. Even while running your head moves. How about crunches for your abs, no matter what you do you get some neck involvement.
Here are a couple quick tips for working out neck pain free:
- when doing abdominals or crunches, instead of locking your fingertips behind your head, let your hands float behind your ears. This will prevent you from literally pulling your head forward.
- When lifting weights for a muscle group, avoid too much weight or pushing yourself to do extra repetitions when fatigued. If your triceps are exhausted, but you want to push out a couple more repetitions, your body will recruit other muscles. Have you ever seen someone at the gym who is trying to lift extra- you can see every muscle and vein pop out. Avoid this, especially when you are healing from a neck injury, and limit this kind of workout normally to prevent possible neck strain.
- I would also avoid a lot of running when your neck is sensitive because not only do you work the neck muscles slightly, but there will also be a certain amount of pounding which can aggravate a previously strained or spasmed neck.
- Since your neck muscles get a fairly good workout no matter what you do, I would avoid trying to hook a harness up to your neck and lifting weights primarily with the neck. This usually does more harm than good.
Working out your neck muscles and upper back is an important part of the exercise regiment. The benefit derived from exercising and being active cannot be overstated. Just make sure you are safe and taking the right precautions while working out.
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