Stopping Neck Pain While Working Out.

Share

Question: When I lift weights, sometimes my neck gets very sore and I have a history of neck issues. What can I do to prevent the tightness in my neck while lifting because I don’t want to have to stop?
Answer: Very often neck tightness can come from poor posture while doing your exercises. Allowing your shoulders to droop or slope while training places your shoulder carriage and spine in poor position to carry a load. It doesn’t matter whether you are standing, sitting or bent over your spine needs to be in proper alignment to support the weight you are lifting and prevent muscle strain caused by muscles being overloaded to compensate for the poor position. The simple fix is to lift your ribcage. This change adjusts the position of your shoulders and retracts your scapula slightly aligning your spinal column to properly carry a load. While doing exercises to strengthen your back this is especially important.
While doing Lat Pulldowns, which is an excellent exercise for overall torso and back strengthening, as you pull the bar down, lift your ribcage upward, lean back slightly, pull your elbows behind you and position the bar near your collarbone. Your legs should be snug beneath the supports to allow you to do this. The position fully retracts your scapula, shoulder blades, and flexes the back muscles. During your set, find a neutral position for your neck, one that is not too high or low and maintain that for the duration of the set. If you do Single-Arm Dumbbell Rows, keep your back flat while rowing and your head level. Don’t try to look up or down.
When working your chest with any pressing exercise, once you have the weight in start position, lift your ribcage. This retracts your shoulder blades and makes a stable pressing platform. It allows your head and neck to be free of the work load during the exercise. As a final precaution, to further support your neck, roll a small towel and place it behind your neck near the base of your skull.
With any exercise done standing up continue to keep your ribcage elevated. This does not mean arch your back though which makes your spine curve. Be aware of exercises like Barbell Curls which can pull on your neck and traps and consider substituting those with Seated Concentration Curls. Maintain good posture and keep your head level while exercising.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

Share