#necksupport: Engage and Lengthen!

Use these exercises to engage the muscles that support your head and neck. These exercises all focus on extension and length. If extension is contra indicated for you- book a session and we will help you find movements that suite your body. 


Diamond arms




Lie on your abdominals with your legs out long and reaching back. Place your forehead on a towel so you can breathe. Rest your arms in a diamond shape with elbows bent at 90 degrees and your fingers almost touching over your head. This is similar to the position you have to stand in when at the airport in a scanner. Take a moment to breathe into your back ribs and feel your collar bones wide. Keep your head and elbows on the floor. Rotate your upper arm so that your forearm and palm peel off the floor in one piece. Replace that arm on the floor. Repeat on the second side. Be careful not to rotate from the elbow down in an effort to get your palm off the floor. It's not how high you lift but where it comes from that matters here. The tops of your shoulders should stay soft and your midline should stay long. 






T arms




Lie on your abdominals with your legs long and reaching back. Rest your forehead on a folded towel so you can breathe. Reach your arms out into a T shape in line with your shoulders. Rotate your thumbs up toward the ceiling and your pinkys towards the floor. Curl your fingers into small fists so it looks like you are hitch hiking. Reach out through you arms and shoulders to increase your wing span. Imagine spinning your collar bones up toward the roof of your mouth. Keep this feeling of width as you float your arms out and up off the floor. Maintain the width as you lower back down. You want to feel the work low between your shoulder blades in your lower and mid traps, not in your upper traps. Your head stays on the floor the whole time. Repeat 10x only lifting as little or as much as you can keep the work targeted. 












Lie down on your abdominals with your legs long and reaching back. Place your hands underneath your forehead. Inhale to lengthen through your center line, floating your head up in line with the center of your rib cage. Exhale as you come into extension in your upper back. Think of opening through your front ribs, shifting the back of your heart forward and finding long support through your center and legs. Keep lengthening on the way back down. Try a few with your hands staying on the floor and then try a few keeping your hands connected to your forehead staying just as long even if you don't come up as high. 


For more chest opening and extension exercises check out this series from #expand