How To Get Rid Of Neck Pain For Mountain Biking

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.

The solution?
​​​​​​​You need to improve your flexibility in your chest and shoulders to 
help loosen them off and stop pulling your neck and shoulders 
​​​​​​​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 
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 :