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How Do Chin Tuck Exercises Help & How to Do It?

Chin tuck exercises are considered one of the best neck exercises that can help in every way. Be it a beginner program to improve posture or regular exercises to relieve neck pain, chin tuck exercises always top the list.

A 2019 report states that the estimated one-year incidence of neck pain ranges between 10.4 and 21.3%, and the overall prevalence of neck pain in the general population can be as high as 86.8%.1

Chin Tuck Exercises For Neck Pain

Neck pain or discomfort is often caused due to tensed muscles or weakened muscles arising out of various underlying causes. Common causes include inappropriate posture, sleeping in an awkward position, working at the desk for long, exposure to a cold draft of air, traveling, or overexerting during play or workout. Sometimes it can be due to medical problems like cervical spondylosis, disc problems, or whiplash. Certain connective tissue disorders, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and pain can cause neck pain.

Experts believe that acute neck pain is nothing much to worry about as it is usually due to some temporary causes. It usually goes away within a few days to about one or two weeks. 2 In some, it may reappear if you immediately get involved in work or sports that affects the neck muscles. Having said this, it is clear that

Pain and symptoms that last for more than three months are considered chronic. People often feel that exercises and physical activities should be avoided for the fear of worsening the pain or causing further injuries. However, if there are no warning signs, it is beneficial to stay active and carry on other routine activities, in addition to performing specific neck exercises.

Chin tuck exercises are thought to be great to help prevent neck pain and are often recommended as one of the basic exercises. These can be performed at any level and often performing them regularly can gradually help to relieve the pain.

Forward Head Posture

Forward head posture (FHP) is the forward movement of the head, which is caused by improper postural awareness that often results in muscular imbalance and causes pain. This posture is found to be influenced by craniovertebral angle and shoulder angle that in turn causes a rounded shoulder. These changes are a hindrance to maintaining a neutral head posture and affect the structural integrity. As the craniovertebral angle can be altered with the chin tuck exercises, it affects the forward head posture.3 Chin tuck exercises can be thus helpful in such cases thus proving to be useful in improving the posture.

A 2019 study included individuals with neck pain of unknown origin and investigated forward head posture in them and compared it with asymptomatic individuals. Age was an important factor in the relation between the forward head posture and neck pain.

The results showed that adults with neck pain show increased forward head posture as compared to asymptomatic adults and that increased neck pain in adults and older adults was associated with forward head posture. This could be linked to lower endurance of the deep neck flexors and extensors and greater activity of superficial muscles as compared with those without neck pain. Forward head posture was also associated with decreased range of motion, which is prominently seen in adults. In adolescents, the long-term effects in terms of decreased neck muscle flexibility and endurance can increase the risk of neck pain in adulthood.1

As chin tuck exercises are one of the key exercises to improve forward head posture, they are advised by doctors for posture correction, improving neck muscle strengthening, and preventing neck muscle injuries.

How Do Chin Tuck Exercises Help?

The main requirement is to have a proper head alignment. As in most cases of neck pain, this alignment is disturbed, due to weak muscles, previous injuries, medical conditions, or aging and degeneration. Chin tuck exercises help manage or prevent neck pain in the following ways

  • They help build strong neck muscles, like cervical flexor muscles, and those around the neck, shoulders, and the upper back
  • They help the neck muscles get stretched just maintaining
  • They allow the muscles to relax and maintain their elasticity and flexibility
  • They help in proper alignment thus improving the posture and awareness
  • Regular chin tuck exercises can improve neck range of motion and relieve pain

In a 2019 study, the effect of combined treatment of manual therapy and stabilizing exercises on the forward head and rounded shoulder postures in women aged 32 to 42 years having neck pain were given for a six-week intervention program followed by a one-month follow-up study. These exercises include the chin tuck exercises along with others. The results concluded that the combined treatment helped in reducing pain, improvement in posture and function, and also reduced cervical and shoulder angles.4

How to Perform Chin Tuck Exercises?

Usually, chin tuck exercises are one of the initial exercises advised for people having neck pain, when you begin the rehabilitation program or sometimes also when performing preventive exercises.

Here is the way you do chin tuck exercises

Chin Tucks – Sit upright with your shoulders straight and relaxed. Keep looking straight and without bending your neck, gently pull your chin straight back. You can place your finger on the chin and without moving it, pull the chin and head straight back. Then tuck your chin inwards in your neck region. Feel the stretch at the base of the head and the neck, then release. Repeat this 5 to10 times.

Chin Tucks And Bends – Sit upright with your shoulders straight and relaxed. Turn your head upwards and look at the ceiling. Then bring it to the original position and look in the front. Now tuck your chin as done in the first exercise and gently bend the neck downwards to look at the floor. Feel the stretch and then release, raising the neck and looking in the front. Repeat this 5 to10 times.

Do these chin tuck exercises as comfortably as possible. As your flexibility improves, gradually your neck range of motion will also improve. Continue doing these regularly but don’t push yourself too hard. Chin tuck exercises are usually followed by other strength-building neck exercises depending on the individual need, which are best decided by the physical therapist or the doctor.


Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 1, 2022

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