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Neck pain can be a real problem on the trail. When neck pain strikes, every tilt or turn of the head causes discomfort. Your pack feels 10 pounds heavier when it first starts. You can prevent neck pain by maintaining good posture, having a strong core and wearing a pack that fits correctly. If you find that your neck muscles are stiff or knotted at the end of the workday, it is helpful to keep a few mobility drills and stretches in your back pocket.

We asked Hilary Granat P.T. D.P.T. M.S. owner ofC.O.R.E. Physical Therapy in Washington, D.C., has the best trail-friendly stretching for backpackers with neck pain. Here are her top picks. All of them require no equipment and you can do them in less than 15 minute. Stop immediately if you feel extreme pain or sharp pain while performing any of these exercises.

1. Neck Range of Motion

This quick drill can help you increase your range-of-motion and reduce tension in your neck. You can do it seated or standing (even during water breaks on the trail). Hold for three seconds when you reach the limit of your range of movement for each stretch. Do five reps of each (one rep equals the opposite direction).

Hold your head in a left-to-right rotation. Then, turn your head to the left and hold.

Hold your right ear toward your right shoulder while keeping your shoulders rolled forward. Bring your left ear to your left shoulder, and hold.

Up and Down: Bring your chin to your chest and hold. Look up at the sky and hold your neck in a neutral position.

2. Shoulder Shrug Roll

The upper trapezius muscles (shoulder muscle) are engaged and relaxed by shrugging and rolling your shoulders. This can help relieve neck pain. Granat explains that when people wear a pack, the upper trapezius (shoulder muscles) may not be engaged at all because the pack pulls their shoulders down. “Shrugs work that muscle .”

Rolling your shoulders backward helps relax shoulder muscles, increase range of movement and counteract the “hunched position” that so many people adopt on and off the trails. Do 10 repetitions of each.

Shoulder Shrug – From a standing or seated position, raise both shoulders toward your ears. Hold for three seconds and then release.

Shoulder Roll: In a standing or seated position, place the right fingertips on the right shoulder and the left fingertips on the left shoulder. Slowly roll your shoulders forward, while maintaining good posture. Draw large circles with your elbows.

3. Chin Tuck

Chin tucks strengthen and lengthen the muscles at the back of the head, also known as deep neck flexors. These muscles stabilize the neck. This exercise can be done in a standing or sitting position or while lying flat on a sleeping pad.

Start with a good posture. Granat suggests that you “think about elongating the spine or pretending there is a book on top of your head or that your chin rests on a shelf.” Place a finger under your chin. While holding your finger, use your neck muscle to pull your chin toward your throat as if you were creating a double-chin. (Don’t use your finger to press, but rather as a target for moving back and forward–the movement must come from your neck. Hold for three second, then release. Repeat for 10 reps.

Stretches such as the Ear to shoulder stretch only take a few seconds and can improve neck health both on and off trail. (Photo: Klaus Vedfelt, via Getty Images).

4. Chest Stretch

Granat says that when you carry a backpack your shoulders are forward and your chest is usually a bit caved in. “By sticking your chest out and putting your hands behind you back, you can counteract all of that forward head and forward shoulder posture.”

Clasp both hands behind your back. Straighten your arms and roll your shoulders backward. Granat says, “Think of lengthening your collarbones to open up your chest.” Lift your arms to deepen the stretch. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat three times.

5. Upper Trapezius Stretch

This stretch targets your upper trapezius which runs from the back of your shoulders to the base your skull. If you’re doing this right, you should feel a deep stretching on the side of the neck and top of the shoulder.

Standing with your chest open, your shoulders back and your shoulders rolled up. Place your hands behind your back, and grab the right wrist with your left. Pull down your right arm while tilting your head to the left. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then switch sides. Repeat two to three times per side.

6. Levator Scapulae Stretch

Granat says the levator-scapulae stretching, which focuses the muscles of the neck and upper spine that pull up the shoulder blades is a client favorite.

Standing with your shoulders rolled forward and your chest opened, open your chest. Reach your right hand up and over your left ear and place it on your left side. Gently pull your neck toward your right shoulder. Once your neck has been bent to the side, turn your head so you are looking at your right armpit. Do not rush the steps. Take your time and settle into the side bend before rotating your neck. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then switch sides. Repeat two to three times per side.