Dynamic & Static Neck Stretches For Boxing/Kickboxing

Dynamic & Static Neck Stretches For Boxing/Kickboxing

Feeling tense post-workout? FightCamp Trainer Shanie Smash has a neck stretching routine for boxing & kickboxing, including both dynamic and static stretches.

Published: May 17, 2021

Topics: Strength & Conditioning, Training

Author: Shanie "Smash" Rusth

Having a strong neck is a must in boxing, kickboxing, and all martial arts. One of the best ways to avoid neck injury and increase neck strength is to stretch it properly.

Here, FightCamp Trainer Shanie “Smash” takes us through a set of dynamic and static neck stretching exercises that can be done before and after a workout.

Dynamic Neck Stretching

Flexion + Extension (20 reps)

Shanie Smash Flexion and Extension
  • Start on the ground in the supine position

  • Bring your chin to your chest

  • Slowly lower your head back down (without touching the ground)

These are often called "Yes's". Training your neck is a must, especially if you are doing any combat sports. There is a lot of stress placed on your neck. For example, if you are wrestling, you often lead with your head and even push your opponent head-first. In jiu-jitsu, you're going to be, literally, getting choked. In boxing or kickboxing, having a strong neck is going to help prevent whiplash and it's going to reduce the risk of concussions.

Rotation (20 reps)

Shanie Smash Neck Rotation
  • Keep your head about 2 inches off the ground

  • Rotate your head sideways (first in one direction and then the other), in a controlled manner without any snap movement

These are often called "No's". If you feel uncomfortable or if anything hurts and you feel pain while doing this exercise, make sure to listen to your body and stop.

It's very common when doing any strength and conditioning training for combat sports to focus on every part of the body, yet we often forget the neck.

Relax your head on the ground for a little bit, take a deep breath and come into an upright position to continue with the static stretching portion of this routine.

Static Neck Stretching

It is important to hold each one of these stretches for 15 to 30 seconds. Static neck stretches will:

  • help lengthen your neck musculature

  • break connective tissue

  • decrease stiffness

Neck Stretch (Right)

Shanie Smash Neck Stretch on Right
  • Hold the top of your head with your right hand and gently stretch your neck to the right

  • Keep your left shoulder low and relaxed

  • Hold for 15-30 seconds and then release

Neck Stretch (Left)

Shanie Smash Neck Stretch on Left

Repeat on the other side.

  • Hold the top of your head with your left hand and gently stretch your neck to the left

  • Keep your right shoulder low and relaxed

  • Hold for 15-30 seconds and then release

It's important not to hold your breath while stretching, so make sure you take a deep breath a few times while holding each stretch.

Neck Stretch (Forward)

Shanie Smash Neck Stretch Forward
  • Hold the back of your head with both hands

  • Gently pull your head down so that your chin touches your chest

  • Feel the stretch in the back of your neck as you rest the weight of your arms

  • Keep your shoulders completely relaxed and low

  • Very gently, push down as you hold

  • Hold for 15-30 seconds and then release

Make sure you take a deep breath from time to time and if you feel any pain, listen to your body and stop the exercise.

Neck Stretch (Back)

Shanie Smash Neck Stretch Backward
  • Look up by slowly tilting your head back

  • With one hand, lightly push your chin up to stretch the front of your neck

  • Hold for 15-30 seconds and release

Don't forget to breathe throughout the exercise.

All of these exercises will help promote blood flow and help with your posture.
Neck exercises like these are extremely important in your overall performance in combat sports like boxing and kickboxing. They are also a great way to alleviate pain and stiffness in your neck after a day of sitting at a desk or a long flight.

To learn how to stretch your whole body after a workout - check out Shanie’s 8-minute Stretching Routine.

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FightCamp Trainer Shanie "Smash"

Shanie "Smash" Rusth is an undefeated pro MMA fighter, FightCamp Trainer, and mother of two. She began MMA in 2011 to get in shape and feel empowered after becoming a single mom. Shanie is USA Boxing Coach certified.

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