Eliminating Tension in, and Strengthening, the Neck
If you’re anything like me, you are no stranger to neck tension. This can simply be related to sleeping patterns or the need for a new pillow, but it can also be associated with, and caused from, improper singing technique.
The good news is that it can be corrected fairly easily. If you turn your head, slowly and gently, side to side while singing, making sure to keep the alignment of your head, neck and torso, the neck tension you are experiencing from singing should begin to loosen up.
If your neck is in knots for another reason, and this is a fairly common, neck stretches are probably going to be more effective for you. A relaxed neck, free from tension is vital for singing well. Let’s talk about how to do neck stretches, and then I’ll give you some techniques to strengthen the neck.
The neck should be treated carefully and gently when doing these exercises. We’ll do five different stretches at around thirty seconds each. The first is to take your right hand and place it on your head just above the ear and gently lower it to your right shoulder. Don’t force it, but make sure there is some resistance and stretch. Hold for thirty seconds. After slowly releasing the neck do the same but opposite; use your left hand pulling down to your left shoulder.
Click here to get tips and exercises about how to sing high notes.
The third stretch is in between the side, which you just did, and down—somewhere in the middle. When you gently pull your neck down, your nose should be aiming toward your armpit. Hold for thirty seconds, and then repeat on the opposite, other side. The last one is straight down. You can use both of your hands to slowly pull forward, and then hold for thirty seconds.
Sometimes the problem of neck tension stems from weak neck muscles that need to be strengthened. One stretch and strengthening exercise is to slowly look as far as you can to the right and then as far as you can to the left. Do this consistently for thirty to forty-five seconds. This will strengthen the neck’s posterior muscles. After this, you can roll your head on your shoulders several times from one side to the other. (Please note that none of these exercises should be done if you have injuries related to the neck, spine or cervical disk.)
I hope some of this is helpful, and be careful with that neck. It can be fragile.
Please feel free to leave any of your questions or comments below…