Bad shoulder and neck posture is caused by weak neck muscles, which can pull your head forward and create a shorter-looking neck line. To elongate the neck, practice correct upright posture and engage the shoulders, neck and jaw muscles in lengthening exercises. Yoga, dance and facial exercises help lift and tone these muscles to create a longer, more linear neckline.
The yoga chair neck stretch engages your core and shoulders while stretching and lengthening the neck. Sit upright at the edge of your chair, lift your torso as tall as you can and engage your abs and keep your back away from the back of the chair. Roll your shoulders back and open up the chest, so you are in correct posture. Holding this position, inhale and drop your right ear to your right shoulder. Slowly place your right hand gently on your head, allowing the weight to increase the stretch, at the same time reach your left arm out to the left side. Release and come back to center, and repeat on the left side. Repeat this stretch on both sides three to five times.
The forward neck extension is a dance exercise that engages and lengthens the neck muscles. Begin standing in good posture, with your shoulders over your hips, hips over feet and feet shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms forward and round them, as if holding a beach ball. Keeping this position, slowly raise your arms toward the ceiling, following the movement with your chin. You chin should stretch toward the ceiling, lifting as high as you can, without strain on the back of your neck. Bring your arms back down, with your chin following, until back in the starting position. Repeat the movement five to eight times.
The chin and jaw flexion exercise is a facial exercise that engages the neck and jaw muscles. Begin sitting or standing in proper posture, shoulders directly over your hips. Relax your shoulders down away from your ears, roll them back and open your chest. Inhale and slowly lift your chin toward the ceiling, and clench your back teeth together gently. Hold this position and press your tongue to the roof of your mouth, engaging the jaw muscles. Release and repeat the tongue press 20 to 25 times.
- beautiful woman image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.