Head and Neck Stretch Part 1 – Muscles of the neck by action

 In Neck Stretch, Neck Stretch Part 1, Uncategorized

Please read the disclaimer before you start perform these stretches!!!!

FLEXION         – Longus Colli, Longus Capitis, Infrahyoid

EXTENSION    – Splenius Capitis, Semispinalis Capitis, Suboccipitals, Trapezius

ROTATION      – Splenius Capitis, Sternocleidomastoid, Levator Scapula, Suboccipitals

SIDEFLEXION – Scalenes

Neck Retraction Stretch

You stand or sit then pull your head back as far as possible and down slightly.  Hold the stretch for 10 seconds.  The target muscle is the Sternocleidomastoid. The other muscle being worked on is the Splenius.

This stretch is very good for tight muscles in the back of the neck.

Neck Rotation Stretch

You can stand or sit for this stretch. Turn your head towards your shoulder on one side. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Repeat with the other side.  You can also aim to pull your head backwards over your shoulder towards your back.  The target muscle is the Sternocleidomastoid.  The other muscle being worked on is the Splenius.

Lying Neck Retraction Isometric Stretch

You lie supine (face up) on the mat. Push your head into the mat and hold the position for 10 seconds.  Relax and repeat. This exercise may be prescribed to strengthen the Splenius without neck flexion.  The target muscle is the Splenius.

This stretch is very good for tight muscles in the back of the neck.

Neck Extensor Stretch

Bow your head forward with your jaw shut.  Depress your chin into the top of your sternum (breast bone).  Slightly turn your head to one side. Hold the stretch. Repeat with the other side.  The target muscle is the Splenius. Other muscles that are involved are the Trapezius (Upper), Erector Spinae, Cervicis & Capitis Fibers.

Lateral Neck Flexion

Look straight forward and do not let the chin drop down then move your ear towards your shoulder.  Make sure you do not lift your shoulder towards your ear. Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds. If you want to further stretch, use your hand to gently apply pressure to the opposite side of your head. The muscles being stretched are the upper fibres of the Trapezius, Scalenes and Levator Scapulae.

This stretch is very good for tight muscles in the upper back and neck.

Sternocleidomastoid Stretch

Put one ear over your shoulder as far as you can (as illustrated) and then lift the chin upwards until you feel a stretch in the muscle at the front opposite side of your neck.  Repeat with the other side.  If you want to increase the stretch you can apply pressure to the shoulder on the opposite side. The muscle being stretched is the Sternocleidomastoid.

This stretch is very good for tight muscles in the upper back and neck

Forward Neck Flexion

You start facing forwards and with your arms in front of you.  Make sure you keep the elbow straight and clap your hands together to stop your shoulders from elevating. Bring your chin down to meet your chest.  Hold the stretch for 15 seconds.  You can also do this exercise in a sitting position by sitting on a chair, gripping the chair between your legs to keep your shoulders down.  The muscles being stretched are the upper fibres of Trapezius, Splenius muscles and Levator Scapulae.  This stretch is very good for tight muscles in the upper back and neck.

Special thank you to Richard ‘Roo’ Abbott who kindly demonstrated the above stretches.

JM Bodycare M matFLAT

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