What is Isometrics?
Isometric exercises are contractions of a particular muscle or group of muscles. During isometric exercises, the muscle doesn’t noticeably change length and the affected joint doesn’t move. Isometric exercises help maintain strength. They can also build strength, but not effectively.
The neck often gets treated differently than other areas. People seem adverse to loading the area, instead opting more often than not for constant stretching or manual therapy. Don’t get us wrong, those things feel good and can have a place. We are firm believers that building some load tolerance in the neck is a good thing and can benefit a lot of people. At the end of the day, if some muscles attached to a stack of bones and that stack of bones responds to load just like anything else. So if we advocate loading for other areas, we should probably do the same here.
Isometrics are a great entry point for loading the neck and where I think most people should start. Reason being, since we rarely directly load the neck, it’s kind of like that first day in the gym. If you overdo the volume and intensity too quickly, things can get pretty sore. So isometrics make for a good way to ease into some load exposure.
Plus, they can be done anywhere, making it easy to implement at the office or home when neck pain often acts up. As you get ready for higher load exercises, things like shrugs, rows, lateral raises, and band resisted neck movements can be good options.
How do we do it?
For the isometrics, we recommend you start with 20-30 second sets and build off of that seeing how you feel. Follow the blue arrows by pushing your heads towards the arrow. For the neck region, go through flexion, side bending, rotation and extension. See below.
If you have further questions please do not hesitate to ask and get in touch with us to help you achieve the best outcome with the best treatment option.
Let us know how you go!