How to Fix a Stiff Neck in Seconds (THIS WORKS!) - YouTube

Channel: ATHLEAN-Xβ„’

What's up, guys?
Jeff Cavaliere,
Stiff necks.
You're probably experienced one, at least in the last year, maybe more often than that.
I can tell you this: when you have one it really crushes your workout efforts because
there's really nothing that you can do that feels great if your neck is stiff.
Particularly, if you're lifting with your shoulders, your upper body, even your legs,
if you have to get your arms up in this position to squat.
But we can actually do something about it depending upon what is actually causing it
in the first place.
I'll say this, right off the bat.
If you're somebody that has a stiff neck while at the same time you're experiencing numbness,
or tingling down your arm – especially one arm, not two – you've got to get checked
You've got to at least go see a physical therapist.
Have somebody check you out and determine that you don’t have some sort of a disc
issue here, that's also causing the pain and discomfort in your neck.
Then you don’t want to be fussing around and messing around with what I'm going to
show you here today.
But if what you have is definitely the more common side effect of muscle stiffness, or
joint stiffness, then you can do what I'm going to show you here, and it's going to
help you quickly.
So what you have to understand is, if you can't move your head to the left, or if you
can't move your head to the right we have one of two things going on.
It's really a 'chicken or the egg' scenario.
Either the muscles have spasms that connect here to the neck into the spine and are making
difficult for you to move because they're in spasm – in this case it's a muscle issue
– or the joint itself has become stuck and that is causing a reflexive reaction, by the
muscle going into spasm because they don’t like the fact that the mechanics here in the
spine are different.
In that case you'd want to work on the joint issue.
Either way, you'll see what I show you here today will actually help both.
So if we want to turn to the left look what happens.
We start rotating here, in our spine.
This is the spinous process; these big, nodules that come off here on the spine.
You'll see that two things will happen.
Number one: as I start to turn the ones at the top turn first.
The more I turn it starts to recruit here, and here, and here.
The more I turn it gets into the cervical spine.
They start to participate in the rotation.
They start moving one after the next, but they start up here with most of the motion.
So depending upon how far you can turn that will give you and indication of where you
might be stuck, and where you might want to intervene.
Okay, so you see how far you can go.
The next thing you want to take note of is, as I turn my head to the left these are actually
turning which way?
They're actually moving to the right.
You see that?
All these, the spinous processes, are actually moving in that direction as the head moves
in this direction.
So if you wanted to address this and try to help this out you could take a towel – and
I'm going to show you one thing here on this channel that a towel is actually good for,
because working out ain't one of them.
What you do is, you take the towel and you put it around your neck, and the first thing
you try to do is determine where your discomfort is.
So you can either do it with a towel where you pull forward, this way, where you feel
like it's stiff, or you could just use your finger.
You're trying to feel these boney processes, one after the next.
Down, and down, and I find where it feels a little bit sore, okay?
So again, if I've ruled out that I have a disc issue, or if you've already talked to
somebody and you've ruled out the disc issues, but you're feeling soreness here, you probably
have a little bit of spasm, or you have this, again, vertebrae that's a little suck.
So as you feel this stiffness, wherever I identify where it is, now I want to take the
towel and put it at that level.
Now, all I'm doing is taking my arms and pulling forward on both of them equally.
But if I want to turn this way, to the left, we know that I can actually influence that
by pulling harder on this side over here – I'll show it from behind – by pulling harder
here, because what I'm doing is, I'm actually just holding on for stability, and I'm pulling
forward on this side.
What I'm doing is I'm taking the towel and I'm – let's just take it at this level so
you can see – and I'm pushing forward on that side.
By pushing forward here, what am I doing?
I'm actually rotating the vertebrae to allow for rotation to the left.
So now you should instantly feel – sort of like what we did with our shoulders popping;
if you have popping shoulders.
I'll actually link that video because people find it helpful.
If you have shoulders that pop there's a drill you can do that can actually reestablish the
position of the glenoid humeral joint to allow that to subside, at least for a while, until
you can fix it long term.
What I'm doing here is, if I have difficulty turning to the left, now I pull here, and
I turn at the same time.
I'll find that I can actually go further.
Then I come back and I ease up, and then I pull on this side – just stabilizing here
– and I allow myself to turn, and I come back.
Again, chin is tucked here.
Nice, pull, turn, and I'll experience more, and more range of motion.
Pain free range of motion.
This is a mulligan technique that physical therapists use a lot to try to help restore
motion in a spine that's locked up, but if it's coming from muscles then this is not
going to hurt because at least you're establishing full range of motion, which might allow the
muscles that were in spasm to finally let go as it is.
Same thing.
If I'm trying to go to the other side I'd actually just pull harder here, which is going
to then allow me to turn that way, and if I'm having trouble bending my head backward
– which sometimes happens – then if I pull straight on, with equal force and go
back, like that; that actually feels good.
That will allow me to basically take the spine and move it this way.
Which is what happens as the head goes backward.
So a quick little technique that you can use, and I've also broken out the band here.
You can use one of the bands to do the exact same thing.
The nice thing about the band is, because of the rubber you basically get a little more
traction as it pulls on your neck.
It kind of sticks to your skin a little bit.
You'll get a little more traction that allows you to get a good glide.
So guys, as I said, a lot of reasons can lead to this.
Firstly, screen the serious stuff.
But if it's from your training, maybe you're digging your head into the bench during the
bench press.
Maybe you're moving your head in all sorts of ways when you're doing lat pull downs.
Whatever it is, you could have thrown it off.
You could also be having a spasm, or trigger point in your trap that could also affect
this, and that would be a different scenario.
We can cover that in a different video.
The fact of the matter is, stiff necks will screw up your ability to train and train hard.
It's not a good thing to try to go out there and train with a stiff neck because you could
be hurting yourself in other ways, too.
So now you've got, at least, a weapon in your arsenal to address that and hopefully knock
it out quickly.
So if you're looking, guys, we try to put, not just strength stuff on this channel, but
the other stuff that goes with it.
Understanding how the body moves so that we can address the whole picture.
We do that.
We call it "putting the science back in strength".
I hope you guys find these videos helpful.
They're a little bit more 'wordy', a little bit more technical, but in the end it helps
you to understand how the whole picture operates.
If you're looking for a complete training program, head to and get our
ATHLEANX training system.
In the meantime, if you've found this video helpful leave your comments and thumbs up
Let me know what else you want me to cover here, and I'll do my best to do that in the
days and weeks ahead.
All right, guys.
See you soon.