Level: Beginner, Intermediate
Head nods are best performed with a small ball at a wall. The simple repeated chin tuck and roll movement is a great exercise for easing neck pain and improving upper cervical spine mobility. Head nods can also be a great way to ease a headache.
- standing about 10cm from a wall, feet and knees hip width apart, knees slightly bent,
- place your small ball on the wall at forehead level. NB it should not be completely in front of your eyes,
- gently contract your deep tummy and shoulder blade muscles, a little,
- relax your upper neck muscles and shoulders.
- make a dent in the ball with your forehead. ie push your forehead onto the ball onto the wall at about a 50% push,
- tuck the chin slightly,
- then maintaining the dent in the ball, gently roll your chin towards your chest and then slowly return to the start position,
- it should feel “nice”, like it is gently stretching and moving through your neck, there should be no pain,
- repeat your head nods x10-20.
- the push on the ball can be less than 50% if you find it difficult to maintain whilst performing your head nod,
- it can often help to imagine a pivot point through your jawbone; nod through this pivot point,
- try not to poke chin when you return to the starting position,
- maintain the 50% push on the ball throughout,
- the rest of the body should remain still,
- breathe normally down into your diaphragm throughout the head nod exercise.
- see neck pain for other great exercises to improve cervical mobility and pain
Make it Harder:
- maintain your push on the ball and rotate your head slowly to the right then slowly rotate to the left; the ball should move from one side of your forehead to the other. Repeat x 5 each side. try to keep your chin level throughout.