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Neck / Upper Back Exercises

by Pablo Jareno

This is part 3 of my blog series on the neck and upper back. I recommend that you go back and read Stop Being A Pain In The Neck and How To Prevent Neck Pain before reading on.

The best way to fight neck and upper back pain is to strengthen it through resistance training.

Here are some exercises to get you started, plus some modifications to increase the resistance/difficulty for your level:


Start with bodyweight and slowly progress to a maximum of 1kg weights in each hand. 

If you do not have any weights these small at home, a couple of tins of beans/soup are good alternatives (trust me I’ve used them myself).

Once this becomes less challenging, another option is to hold the extended arm position on each part of the exercise for a 1-2 count.

Face pulls + Band chin tucks

Using the red band provided at DMC Fitness is a great resistance tool to use, but this will get easier, so there is a couple of options.

Standing further away from the attachment point/fixed point of the band with increase tension at the last bit of the movement.


Holding the last part of the movement for a couple of seconds will also increase muscle tension on the muscle.

Band pull aparts

Going from not having the band double-upped ie. a single band is a good way to start, then progressively doubling up the band will increase the amount of muscular tension on the muscle.


Slowly the repetition speed down.

Or Pausing at the peak contraction of the exercise ie when the band touches the chest and the shoulder blades are squeezed together.

Working your way through these exercises regularly should make a difference to your neck and upper back mobility when done regularly.

That about wraps up this series on the back and neck. If you’re struggling with back and neck issues, or have any questions or comments, get in touch and we’ll try to help.

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you”,