Follower of the 12 Week Programme Paul, writes in :
“Hi Matt. I’m currently working through your fitness programme
and will finish the first week today. I’ve really enjoyed having some
structure and variety to work with. One of the things I suffer with is
a tight neck, which gets pretty bad after riding for a few hours. Is there anything I can introduce into my daily stretches to help with this?”
Good question from Paul.
There are a few possible causes for having your neck tighten up on the bike.
The most common is posture related.
We spend hours hunched over the bike. Hunched over a desk, slouched in our seats. Hunched over in the car. Hunched over watching tv at night. Our head is forward and our shoulders forward. This gives you that typical ‘riders posture’ of shoulders internally rotated and head protruding forward.
For every centimetre your head comes forward from where it should sit, it’s the same weight as an additional head resting on your cervical spine (the top of your spine).
This can cause aches, pains and tightness…especially when you hold it in that position for long periods of time like when you are out riding.
You need to improve your flexibility in your chest and shoulders to help loosen them off and stop pulling your neck and shoulders forward.
You also need to strengthen up your upper back muscles to help
pull your shoulder blades and head/neck back where they should be.
The way to do this is to start stretching your chest and shoulders daily. You also need to become more conscious of your posture. Pull your shoulders back when you feel yourself slouching and stand up ‘tall and proud’.
To strengthen your upper back muscles you need to either train in the gym on pulling exercises (seated rows, rear delt flyes etc.) or train at home doing similar exercises with resistance bands, 2-3 times a week.
Over time you’ll find your posture improving and your neck pain hopefully reducing.
In my 12 week programme I show you all the above. How to stretch daily to improve your posture. How to train at home or in the gym to strengthen up those upper back muscles and more. Feel free to have a look here :