Neck Stretching Exercises

Neck stretching exercises include neck rotation stretch, forward and lateral flexion stretches, and Sternocleidomastoid stretch. Neck mobility exercises are also excellent for relieving the tension caused by too many hours sitting at a desk, or in front of a computer.

Neck stretching exercises: rotation

Neck stretching exercises

Stretching the neck from side to side like this can help ease neck aches, especially if you apply gentle overpressure with your hand. Neck rotation stretch targets the upper fibres of trapezius, sternocleidomastoid, and splenius.

Start facing straight forwards and with your arms in front of you. Keep the elbows straight and clasp your hands together to stop your shoulders from elevating.

Turn your neck so that your chin moves towards your shoulder. Hold for between 10 and 30 seconds.

Variations

  • When twisting the head, lift the chin slightly upwards to place more emphasis on Sternocleidomastoid.

Neck stretching exercises: forward neck flexion

Neck stretching exercises

Performing a stretch such as this on a regular basis can help to ease muscular aches and pains in the neck and upper back. This stretch targets the upper fibres of trapezius, splenius, and levator scapulae.

Start facing straight forwards and with your arms in front of you. Keep the elbows straight and clasp your hands together to stop your shoulders from elevating.

Bring your chin down to meet your chest. Hold for between 10 and 30 seconds.

Variations

  • Perform sitting on a chair and gripping the chair between your legs to keep the shoulders down.

Lateral Neck Flexion Stretch

Neck stretching exercises lateral flexion

Lateral neck flexion stretch targets the upper trapezius muscle, scalenes, and levator scapulae. This stretch can be very useful for people who suffer from tight, aching muscles in the upper back and neck, such as those who work at a computer.

Look straight forward and do not let the chin drop down. Move your ear towards the shoulder.

Don’t let your shoulder lift up. Hold for between 10 and 30 seconds.

Variations

  • When stretching the right side, further the stretch by using the left hand to apply gentle pressure to the right side of the head.

Sternocleidomastoid Stretch

Neck stretching exercises - sternocleidomastoid

The sternocleidomastoid stretch stretches the two long strap-like muscles on either side of the front of the neck.

Rotate the head to one side as far as is comfortable Then tilt the head to the same side, as if trying to reach the ear to the shoulder.

Hold for 20 seconds, rest and stretch the other side.

This article has been written with reference to the bibliography.

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