The busy holiday season takes its toll on hairstylists and barbers who are on their feet all day. This self-care blog series offers some isolated stretches to help you keep the aches and pain at bay during this hectic time of year.
To strengthen your neck muscles, here are a few Active Isolated Stretching protocols for you to try at home. Remember to hold these stretches no more than 2 seconds each to get the most benefit.
Standing tall and straight, tilt your head downward, with your chin going toward the chest while you exhale. Use one hand to slightly assist the stretch from the back of the head. Hold for 2 seconds, then return to first position. You can also perform this stretch while sitting. You will feel this stretch down the back of your neck.
Standing tall and straight, position your head between your shoulders, then gently tilt it back to the end of your range of motion. Use your fingers to push under the chin to assist in the neck extension if necessary. Hold for 2 seconds, then return to first position. Repeat 6–8 times.
Body Awareness Tip
In addition to the exercises above, try this tip. When your mind is frazzled and your stress level is topping out, it’s not uncommon to find your shoulders have quietly inched up to your ears. When you realize you’ve made your neck disappear—stop. Become aware of your body. Then, tell your shoulders to “drop.” Let those tightened neck muscles relax and feel the release. Then, do it again. Repeat this exercise 3–4 times in total, or until you feel you’ve found the muscle’s resting point. Challenge yourself: how far can you drop them?