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Exercise to Improve Mobility Through Your Neck and Upper Back

If you're comfortable with general neck exercises that you can do while sitting or standing, but feel that there is sufficient room for improvement with mobility through your neck and upper spine, you might find this exercise helpful.

To warm up the area, begin on all fours and reach one arm under the armpit of the other and allow your trunk and head to follow your arm to some degree - the idea is to touch the back of your hand on the floor past your opposite armpit, and to turn your head and trunk enough so that you end up looking at the ceiling from under your armpit. Do the same thing to the opposite side, then alternate from side-to-side at a pace that is comfortable for you. I generally aim to do about 10 to 20 repetitions to each side.

Then, start on your buttocks and roll yourself back as though you are aiming to do a backward somersault, but stop yourself when you are resting on your upper back and lower neck with your pelvis and legs in the air above you. You can use your hands to support yourself in this position.

From this position, gently rock your legs from side to side, aiming to touch the ground with your feet on both sides of your body.

If you find that this is too much for your comfort level, you can simply maintain the partial backward somersault position and gently move your legs a few inches side to side.

For an overview of exercise progressions that you can work at to improve your mobility and balance in a systematic way, please feel free to visit our Mobility Exercise Progressions page here:

Mobility Exercise Progressions

For some suggestions on how to set up a simple workout area at home, please feel free to view:

Suggested Resources for a Home Gym


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I was browsing through a book on yoga poses and noticed the pose where you're lying backwards on your shoulders and both legs are at the side of your head - this pose is called 'parsva halasana'.