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What Should My Head and Neck Do During Exercise?

In yoga, we’re usually much more aware of what our bodies are doing than when we’re running or doing strength training. Yoga requires you to focus on certain parts of your body to do specific poses and that’s why it’s so great for the mind-body connection.

In yoga, you’re usually well aware of what your legs, feet, arms, and even hands are doing, but I recently got a question about what your head and neck should be “doing” during exercise. This question wasn’t just yoga specific, which is great, because having bad form in any part of the body during any type of exercise can cause problems later on. So, let’s jump right into this.

Q: From weightlifting to running, what should you be doing with your head and neck while you exercise?

A: It TOTALLY depends what you’re doing in the weight room, but generally, avoid straining through your neck or dropping your head all the way back/all the way forward. When running, keep your head and neck neutral.

Why it matters:

If your alignment in your neck is off during exercise, it’ll cause injury. Plain and simple.

How your head and neck affects the rest of your spine and workout form:

Poor alignment in one area of the body often means poor alignment elsewhere. No part of the body works in isolation, so when one area is compromised, another likely is too. When your form is compromised you’re at risk for injury, but you also won’t get the same results you would if you were using proper form. So, poor alignment = fewer results and risk of injury.

Making sure that your head and neck remain neutral during exercise might seem like it’s not all that important, but in the end, it’s the small things that really count. Nothing beats good form when it comes to exercise, so if you’re unsure whether you’re doing something right – make a video of your workouts and see where you have bad form, then try to improve from there.

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