How To Foam Roll Your Neck Muscles

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Foam Rollers can be used as an effective way to relieve pain in your neck and upper trap.

Many athletes and gym goers suffer from tightness in the neck and shoulder areas. However, performing a quick foam roller neck exercise can help to relieve pain in these areas and:

  • Restore range of motion
  • Improve circulation
  • Increase flexibility
  • Improve posture

and generally, make you feel better.

For more info on foam rolling check out our benefits of foam rolling article.

Why Do your Neck Muscles Get Tight

One of the main reasons for tightness in the neck is a muscles or tissues strain. The most common issues are to do with the Levator Scapulae.

This muscle is located at the side and to the back of the neck and links to the shoulders to the spine.

Below are some of the other main reasons for neck muscle pain:

Why Do Neck Muscles Get Tight?

Reason 1

Reason 1

Awkward Sleeping Position

Why Do Neck Muscles Get Tight?

Reason 4

Reason 4

Prolonged stressful situations

Why Do Neck Muscles Get Tight?

Reason 2

Reason 2

Impact to the body, that causes sudden movements of the head

Why Do Neck Muscles Get Tight?

Reason 5

Reason 5

Continually holding your neck in a bad position

Why Do Neck Muscles Get Tight?

Reason 3

Reason 3

Repeatedly turning head from side to side (swimming)

Foam Roller Exercise For Neck

The best techniques for performing self-myofascial release on your neck are by using a foam roller or a massage ball. Its important to concentrate perform foam roller exercises for shoulders and neck as these muscles sit over one another.Below are our favorite routines for relieving your neck (upper trap) issues.

Foam rolling Neck with a foam roller

When foam rolling your neck muscles, you will get the best results by using your foam roller first. This helps lengthen the upper trap muscles before you use the massage roller to target trigger points.The following video by Howcast shows exactly how to use a foam roller to massage your neck.

How to Foam Roll your Neck

  1. Lie on your back and place the foam roller in the curve of your neck.
  2. Rotate your head to the left in a slow controlled manner.
  3. From this position, slowly rotate your head to the right keeping the neck muscles in contact with the roller.
  4. Try to keep your torso on the ground and only rotate your head.
  5. Do not force the stretch and breathe throughout.

Foam rolling your neck with a massage ball

Once you have legnthen and warmed up the neck muscles with your foam roller, you now need to apply a deeper massage technique.

Check out this excellent neck massage tutorial by the guys over at Trigger Point.

How to Foam Roll your Neck with a massage ball

  1. Holding the ball in the palm of your hand, position the massage ball on the side of your neck targeting your upper trap and scalene muscles.
  2. Place your other hand on top of your skull.
  3. Take a deep breath in and out, then massage the ball into the side of the neck, whilst the spare hand gently pulls your head to the opposite side.
  4. Repeat this twice
  5. Next, keeping pressure on the massage ball, pull your head to the side to stretch the neck muscles. This helps to isolate the area.
    Remember to take deep breathes throughout the exercises.
  6. Repeat on the opposite side.
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