Using a smart phone or a computer all day can add a lot of extra strain to your neck. On top of being the place that most people hold their stress, this can add to the incidence of neck pain and discomfort, or could be a problem waiting to happen. This "forward head" position causes to overstretching of the muscles behind your neck and excessive shortening of the muscles in front. To counteract the effects of this poor postural position, try these three simple exercises to help relieve tension and tightness and activate the posterior chain: the muscles that work to help hold your neck and back upright.
Exercise to do daily
Lay on your back, with one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just behind your teeth - keep lips closed. As you inhale through your nose, try to expand your belly like a balloon, without letting the hand on your chest move at all. On exhalation, your belly sinks down towards the table and the hand on the chest remains stationary.
Crocodile Breathing (advanced): Lay face down resting your forehead on your hands. With your tongue in the same position, inhale and try to press your belly into the floor with your breath. If done correctly, your back should rise up slightly as well. In addition, see if you can expand the sides of your abdomen with your inhale - like a crocodile does!
Lay face down and place your hands at your sides, palms up. Raise your arms up towards the ceiling and reach towards your feet while you squeeze your shoulder blades together, lifting the front of your shoulders off the table slightly. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for 3 sets of 10.
While laying on your back, notice the space between your neck and the floor. Press the back of your neck into the floor to eliminate the space. Your head should tilt down slightly as you do this. Repeat for 3 sets of 10.