I had a client in the gym earlier today complaining about tightness in his neck. This isn't a new issue with this client, but I want to do everything I can to help alleviate this issue.
I have given him stretches/exercises to do at home, which he has but doesn't seem to be doing enough. So we talked about daily activities and sleeping patterns. We did a fascial release on his upper trapezius, which, while painful during, did help.
Then during the warm up I had him pull a band apart and move his neck. (see video for directions below)
Afterwards he was amazed at the movement in his neck.
I explained that this is the idea of "proximal stability promotes distal mobility".
For a better understanding lets look at what we call the Active Straight Leg Raise (a test in the Functional Movement Screen).
In this test we have people actively raise their leg straight up. Some people may not get as high as this picture because of what they deem to be tight hamstrings. Which may or may not be true.
Click Here to read "Are Your Hamstrings Really Tight?"
One way we can teach the body to allow the leg to go higher is to activate the core musculature.
When you activate the core you give the trunk STABILITY. This will in turn allow the joints further away, in this case the hips, to move better.
This is the idea behind "proximal stability promotes distal mobility" or stability in a joint closer to the core allows more movement in a joint further from the core.
Watch this video for more information including the Neck Mobility Drill I gave my client.
If you or anyone else you know have any issues with mobility you would like help with, feel free to email me with any questions.