Don’t Crack Your Neck! Try these Neck Exercises & Stretches Instead

Hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo and Lion Bear,
and Bear says “Don’t crack yo neck, do these 7 stretches and exercises instead!” And that’s no lying. so if you haven’t already, make sure you
click on that subscribe button down there. otherwise I won’t see your
comments, and if I don’t see your comments how can I answer them? okay so
instead of cracking your neck, these stretches and exercises are a great way
to kind of loosen everything up and sometimes they actually get a little pop
as well. we’re gonna start off with isometric exercises and isometric
exercises really do sometimes, if you need that pop, if that’s something that
you enjoy getting, you can get that sometimes with isometric exercises. so
isometric exercises really just you’re activating the muscles, but you’re not
moving. so you’re pushing into something that’s not moving and you can easily do
that with your hands. so the first one is just going to be a side Bend movement,
but you’re not going to actually do that movement. this is what you’re pushing
into this is the motion you’re going to be pushing into, but you’re going to put
your hand just on the side of your head and then push into your hand. but see my
head’s moving a little bit just because I want you to see the motion I’m doing,
but really your head shouldn’t be moving at all. so this is me just pushing into
my hand. and so to start off you really just want to push maybe only about
twenty or thirty percent because if your neck is hurting, if it’s if it’s painful,
you don’t want to push too hard. just hold that that push for about three to
five seconds, holding that contraction, and then relaxing. you can do alternating
sides if you want to. so then this is the motion I would be doing, and now I’m
pushing it into my hand this way, and then you can do three to five doing that three to five second hold on each side. you can alternate or if you just want to
do them all on one side, if you can tell that’s usually the side that you you
need to get that pop, you can just do them all on one side, but I would do both
sides just because it’s your neck and you want to keep it balanced. so then the
next one is another isometric exercise, but this time you’re going to be doing
rotations. so this is the motion that you’ll be doing, but you’re not actually
going to do that motion. so it’s still kind of placing your hand on the side of
your head, and now I’m pushing in. so I’m gonna do I’m gonna move my eyes to where
I want my head to go and just pushing in like that. so I’m doing this, but my hand
is stopping me from doing it, and then alternating sides pushing the other way.
so again that three-two five second hold, doing it five times on
each side. if you want to alternate back and forth you can, but you don’t have to.
then the next one is going to be an extension isometric movement. so you can
do this one against a wall if this is uncomfortable to kind of put your hand
behind your head. you can actually just lean against the
wall and push back into it, but if you don’t have a wall behind you or a tall
chair that you can push into, just place your hand on your back of your head. and
this time so this is the movement I’m trying to push push my head back looking
up but my hand is stopping me from doing it. so again you know that three to five
second hold, maybe five times in a row. this time you don’t have a side to
alternate to, but just making sure that you’re starting off with maybe 20 to 30%
of your push, and if it feels okay the next day then you can go 30 40 40 50 and
so on until you’re pushing you know hard enough where you might actually get that
pop. you you might not so don’t expect it to happen. you should still feel relief
doing it even if you don’t hear an audible pop or feel a pop. so then the
next one is one of my favorites which is chin tucks. and chin tucks if you’ve
watched any of my videos is one that’s for, it’s great for posture, it’s great
for neck pain, it’s great for just kind of resetting everything. so if you feel
like you have to pop your neck a lot, most likely it’s because you don’t have
great posture and then when you pop it you’re kind of adjusting everything back
into place. so with a chin tuck it’s not tucking down like this, but it’s actually
tucking your chin in this way. you’re moving your head backwards and so a lot
of times I like to use my finger as a target. you don’t have to, but I just feel
like this kind of helps you visualize what you’re doing. so you’re just going
to place your finger on your chin and you’re gonna leave it there, the finger
stays in one spot. and then I’m tucking in. so you can see I
have lots of little Chin’s right there, and I’m just holding it for about three
to five seconds and then when I relax a lot of times there’s a little bit of
space in between just with, and all that means is now I’m correcting that posture.
so sometimes even just doing one you can see a difference because if you’re
sitting like this all day making those muscles activate back there. and
stretching everything back out and activating them as well really helps
kind of reset everything. so again that three to five second hold again bringing
everything keeping that chin in a neutral position.
so it’s not coming like this, or it’s not coming up like this, it’s just bringing
that head straight back behind you, and then holding that for that three to five
seconds. maybe doing five or ten at a time. so then going into some stretches.
so if you feel like you always have to to pop your neck, a lot a lot of times is
because of tight neck muscles around the area. sometimes even those muscles that
go into the shoulder, so if you’ve got a little imbalance, or if you’ve got some
tightness, it’s going to pull stuff and cause it sometimes get out of alignment
or cause it to have that feeling where you want to pop it to to get that relief.
so an upper trap stretches is a great one to do and that’s that big
muscle in the upper part of your neck that goes down into your shoulders. so a
lot of times I’ll tell people to kind of sit on their hand. if it’s uncomfortable
to sit on your hand, you can just kind of push it down. sometimes even people put
it behind their back. I like just kind of sitting on it and that just keeps this
shoulder down, so I’m stretching this side, this is the side that I want to sit
on. then I’m just gonna bring my hand, my other hand up and over, and I just want
to keep my head in a neutral position. so I’m not looking down, I’m not looking up,
I’m just pulling straight over to the side. and I should feel that stretch kind
of right up and through here, and that’s where that upper trap comes into that
neck. again you don’t have to sit on your hand or push it down, but you’ll get a
better stretch that that just gives me a nice stretch feeling that. and so this is
going to be a full stretch. so you’re holding it for 30 seconds, come up. again
even if you feel like usually one side as a side that you need, I would stretch
both sides because the neck those muscles on each side really have you
know when it’s connected to the spine, you want those both to be flexible and
mobile so they’re not causing imbalances. so 30 second holds, doing that three
times on each side to really get that good stretch. so the next stretch is the
levator scapulae stretch, and the levator SCAP is the one that comes up and
attaches here all the way down to your shoulder blade. And it elevates or levates that shoulder blade. and so it’s really important because a lot of times
if you’re working really hard on a computer or you’re focusing on something,
you tend to tighten up like this, and that causes a lot of pain in that neck,
and feels like you know sometimes you got to
crack the neck to get that relief in there. so this is a great stretch to do.
so to start off with this one, if I’m stretching this side, I’m gonna bring my
arm up and try and take my elbow towards the ceiling. now if you can’t do this if
this is uncomfortable, that’s okay. some people will just raise their arm you can
do that as well, or you don’t have to put it up here, but again if I put my hand
here, I’m pushing that shoulder blade down or keeping it stable down there to
get a better stretch. now this one is a little bit different because I’m gonna
take the other hand and put it behind my head. I’m gonna pull my head down at
about a 45 degree angle. so it’s not coming straight down, it’s not going down
towards the side, but I’m turning my head so my nose is going towards the opposite
knee. so this one sometimes people don’t quite get but it’s coming bringing my
hand behind my head and bringing that nose down towards the opposite side. so I
should feel that stretch right through there. so it shouldn’t really be on the
side like that upper trap, it should be a little bit more in the back. and if
you’re not quite feeling it, turn your head a little bit more at that angle and
pull down. so again this is another thirty thirty Seconds stretch. you’re
holding it for thirty seconds, and again I would do both sides. turning that head
and that nose pointing towards the opposite elbow and coming down holding
it for that thirty second stretch doing that three times on each side. again just
keeping everything balanced and even. and so that’s really nice way to loosen
everything up. and so the last one is just going to be an anterior scalene
stretch. and so these are the muscles in the front. so again all these muscles
around the neck if they’re tight, if they’re imbalanced, pulling on something,
you’re gonna have that feeling of where you want to pop that neck or kind of
crack that neck to readjust everything. so this time what you’re gonna do is
you’re going to take the opposite side. so if I want to stretch this out, I’m
taking my opposite hand and just kind of placing it on my collar bone right there,
or that clavicle. and so I’m just gonna gently pull down on that again to kind
of stabilize everything, then I’m gonna turn my head towards that side and look
up. and I should feel that stretch right through there. getting that nice stretch.
so I’m just kind of then looking up towards the ceiling if you want a
slightly different stretch, you can turn it the other way, and
is going to get a little bit more towards the side, maybe the SCM, so you
can do both. but I like this one that gives a nice stretch. so it’s almost like
one of my patients said that you’re you’re posing for a picture kind of look
gazing up in a way at something. but again this is that 30-second stretch,
doing that three times. again I would do that on each side, so kind of pulling
that collarbone down, looking towards that side, and then looking up towards
the ceiling. and you might not have heard that but I actually did just get a
little pop in my neck, so that’s good. it’s getting that relief in there
without just taking your head and cracking it. So there you have it. those were your 7 exercises
and stretches for your neck instead of cracking it. If you’d like to help support my channel, make
sure to click on the link up there. And don’t forget to subscribe, where Mr. Bear? Over there? Yeah I know. And remember, be safe, have fun, and I hope
you feel better soon.

14 Replies to “Don’t Crack Your Neck! Try these Neck Exercises & Stretches Instead”

  1. Buy a printable worksheet with the Neck Cracking Alternatives in this video here:
    ⭐⭐ Leaving a Question or Comment? ⭐⭐
    If you want me to reply, make sure you hit the 🔴 SUBSCRIBE 🔴 button above first (if you haven’t already) because I always respond to my subscribers!

  2. I really love this series. My neck and shoulders are so tight that I want to work it HARD, including cracking my neck. So this is an excellent reminder for me that small efforts can be effective. Isometrics are awesome! Thank you, Dr. Jo!!!!

  3. Dr Jo, I didn't realize people were not responding to your videos…Honestly I cannot remember if I had previously or not. Originally last year in '18( it's year b4 last) I found you when I had really BAD vertigo- and I think at them time I had asked for advice or something..its not like me to not engage- often the challenge is the opposite- unless I'm in a situation with toxic people- but I digress😌☺.
    So I tried to.use your directions for laying on a surface and doing those side to side( may not be greatest description) exercises..but I did not have a firm enough surface to facilitate the correct execution..only a soft eventually I actually don't remember how I treated it- but fortunately it went was HORRIBLE.
    Since then my right ear nerve has succumbed to old age ( now 66)and piled on years of use,.. and stopped functioning..about 70%. Point being, I think all of those symptoms were building up to the eventual failure of the ear nerve.I asked a Kaiser( are you in Cal?)Dr. about loud music from the 70's being a cause..but unfortunately he was rudely indifferent , so I did not pursue any more questions. I have since changed providers..but it's still Medicare. So anyways..just wanted you to know I do watch you videos…even though I cannot always implement the instruction…the information you provide is wonderful and indispensable to this a huge plus- Just your encouraging. and helpful really positive and NURTURING bedside manner is a soothing balm in this hectic world that I really look forward to. I sure hope you get millions is of views…😊🙏.
    On a side note…have you ever watched homesteading …'Weed 'em & Reap'…or 'White House On a Hill'..'Self Sufficient Me'…Justin Rhodes – all about growing food and raising farm animals in ecosystem (well, some) type environments..from their home properties..really generates hope and great information. You've really been a blessing to me. Thank you so much.
    Herb Johnston

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