Neck Stretches


Chapter 11

The Anatomy Of The Neck

When performing neck stretches you should know that there are many muscles involved in the neck, with many muscles doing more than one function. To simplify it, the muscles are arranged based on their function.

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Neck Muscles - Neck Stretches

Benefits To Neck Stretches

The neck region much like any other can lose range of motion with improper movement or lack of movement. It is also an area where many people hold tension. The benefits of stretching the neck muscles are:

  • Improving/maintaining posture
  • Lengthen and relax tight muscles

Neck Stretching Exercises

Upper Fibres Trapezius Stretch

    Upper Fibres Trapezius Stretch-1 Neck Stretches
    Upper Fibres Trapezius Stretch-2 Neck Stretches
  • Drop your ear to one shoulder until you feel a stretch.
  • For a deeper stretch, place your hand on your head and apply gentle pressure.
    • Note: never aggressively stretch the neck. Gentle stretching is always the goal.
  • Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds.
  • Do not turn your head or tilt it forward or backwards while you perform this stretch.

Levator Scapula Stretch

    Levitator Scapula Stretch-1 Neck Stretches
    Levitator Scapula Stretch-2 Neck Stretches
    Levitator Scapula Stretch-3 Neck Stretches
  • Sit tall on a chair.
  • Grab the bottom of the seat with your hand (or sit on your hand) on the injured side to lower the shoulder by pulling down.
  • Turn your head so as to bring your chin towards your shoulder and lower your head towards your chest.
  • Apply extra pressure (gently) with your hand to increase the stretch if needed.
  • Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds.
  • Do NOT tilt your head so as to bring your ear towards your shoulder while you perform this movement.


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  • Moore, K. L., & Dalley, A. F. (2006). Clinically Oriented Anatomy (5th ed.). Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Nieman, D. C. (2011). Exercise Testing and Prescription: A Health-Related Approach (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
  • Sá, M. A., Neto, G. R., Costa, P. B., Gomes, T. M., Bentes, C. M., Brown, A. F., et al. (2015, Mar 29). Acute Effects of Different Stretching Techniques on the Number of Repetitions in A Single Lower Body Resistance Training Session. Journal of Human Kinetics , 177–185.
  • Sherwood, L., & Kell, R. (2010). Human Physiology: From Cells to Systems, First Canadian Edition. Toronto, ON: Nelson Education.