4 Ways to Strengthen Anterior Neck Muscles

Side view of young man holding his neck in pain

A Helping Hand

One of the easiest ways to strengthen anterior neck muscles is by simply using your own hands as a form of active resistance. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart and your spine tall. If you are more comfortable while sitting, make sure your feet are flat on the floor and your spine straight. Place the base of your hands on your forehead, just above your brow and begin to breathe deeply. On an exhale, push your head forward into your hands, but don't allow your head to move. Hold the resistance for 3 to 5 deep breaths and then gently relax. Repeat the neck strengthening exercise 5 to 20 times, depending on your comfort level.

Look Both Ways

The muscles which allow your head to turn from left to right are also located on the front of the neck and can be strengthened using the same resistance technique. Turn your head as far to the right as is comfortable, keeping your chin level and place your left hand on the side of your head just in front of your ear. Inhale deeply, and as you exhale turn your head to the left, pushing into your hand. Again, hold for 3 to 5 deep breaths and then relax, repeating 5 to 20 times before repeating the neck exercises on the opposite side.

Just a Little Lift

With a light hand-held weight between 2 1/2 and 5 lbs., you can exercise the neck from the comfort of your own bed. Place the weight on your forehead above your brows and hold each end in your hands. Inhale and as you exhale lift your head off of the bed. Make sure that you lift your chin straight up, and not towards your chest. Hold for 3 to 5 breaths and then relax, repeating 5 to 10 times as is comfortable for you.

Roar Like a Lion

One of the best yoga poses for the neck, the lion, also helps to keep your facial muscles toned and your face looking young. You can perform this pose in virtually any position, or even in front of a mirror to see the exact muscles you are working. Relax the muscles of your face and neck as you breathe deeply, and on the exhale, push your head forward, open your mouth and eyes as wide as possible and stick out your tongue. To exercise the vocal chords, you can literally roar like a lion. Hold the pose for 3 to 5 breaths and repeat 2 or 3 times. Perform the lion various times throughout the day to maintain your youthful appearance and strengthen the neck.