Learn a gentle exercise to strengthen the muscles in your neck to be done at home with a partner!
For more gentle exercise for older adults, head to our website for the free program!
This gentle exercise can help avoid a stiff neck or neck pain in general.
Voice-over by volunteer Lizzie Da Costa
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In this video, you will learn some exercises that you can do with a partner to strengthen your neck muscles. Before you begin, be sure to check your physical health with a doctor.
Regular practice of this exercise will help prevent against neck pains and stiffness.
To do this exercise, you will need a chair.
This exercise is made up of two parts: the positioning, and the movement.
First, the positioning
The older person should seat down in the chair
To ensure that your back is straight, stretch your spinal column, making yourself taller
Lift the back of your head as high as possible, while tucking in your chin looking ahead of you.
This is what we will call: the head's neutral position.
As for the partner: Stand behind the chair and place your hands on the older person's head, One on each side.
Secondly, the movement.
The older person should breathe in.
Then, while exhaling, lean your head to your right side, progressively applying pressure, as though you are trying to push your partner's hand.
As for the partner: stop their head turning by creating resistance with your right hand, pushing it to the left.
The aim is for both opposing forces to create the same amount of pressure so that the head does not move.
The older adult must feel a muscular contraction in their neck.
Hold for 6 seconds
Then slowly release
Repeat the same movement, turning the head to the left, while exhaling.
Start off with a light pressure, then slowly intensify the force.
Hold the position for 6 seconds, while breathing steadily and deeply.
Make sure to keep your back straight and your shoulders low and relaxed.
Then slowly come back to your neutral position.
As for the partner: Place a hand on the older person's forehead: The assisted person must then try to bend their head foward.
Delicately, counteract this movement by exerting an opposing pressure with your hand.
As with the first exercise, the older person's head must remain still.
Hold it for 6 seconds.
Then slowly come back to the neutral position.
As for the partner: Place a hand behind the older person's head while they try to tilt it backwards.
Delicatley counteract this movement by exerting an opposing pressure with your hand.
Hold for 6 seconds.
Do this entire exercise twice consecutively
Communicate with each other the how the older adult feel, to be sure that they are not in any pain
By combining muscular strengthening and flexibility exercises for the back ofthe neck, you can help prevent stiffness and pains in the neck and shoulders.
Over to you!