Neck stretching exercises are essential for a variety of reasons. More often than not, these are the muscles that get strained or pulled. Stress most often manifests itself via tight neck muscles. Regular stretching of neck muscles can ensure that the muscle tightness is regularly relieved.
It is also essential to stretch these muscles before you start your exercise session. Tight neck muscles can lead to painful muscle injuries in the upper back and neck areas. This article will give you guidelines on how to do some simple neck stretching exercises. This article covers the 3 key neck stretching exercises. These exercises are essential before starting an exercise session. It is also useful to relieve stress build up in the neck area.
Table of Contents for Article
Main Neck Stretching Exercises
The main neck stretching exercises include the front/back flex, side flex and the rotating flex. These are also the exercises referenced at the Medline site entitled Useful Neck Stretching Exercises.
Neck Stretching Exercises – Front and Back Flex
- In the front flex, let your chin fall towards your chest and hold that stretch.
- In the back flex, lift your head up as far as possible and all the while looking upwards. While doing this exercise, imagine trying to point upwards with your chin.
Neck Stretching Exercises – Side Flex
- Slowly rotate your chin towards your shoulder to the right and hold that stretch.
- Switch directions and rotate towards the left and hold that stretch.
Neck Stretching Exercises – Rotating Flex
- Slowly rotate your head towards your shoulder.
- Hold that stretch.
- Switch to the opposite side and hold that stretch.
General stretching tips
- Have a gentle, slow and controlled motion at all times
- Relax the entire body; never go past the point of serious discomfort or pain.
- Breathe slowly and deeply as you stretch. Hold the stretch for the desired time
- Clear your mind and focus on the muscles being stretched, visualize them being let go and relaxing throughout the entire stretch.
- Never bounce during your stretch. This is the act of using momentum to extend your stretch. This almost always leads to injuries. Stretch slowly and in a controlled manner. Over time, you will increase your flexibility.
Caution during stretching exercises
- Never hold your breath during the stretching exercise.
- Never jerk or bounce to get more stretch. This will always lead to injuries.
Other useful resources for neck stretching exercises
Here are links to other useful resources that you may find useful on this topic.
- Gentle neck stretching exercises
- Simple exercises to relieve neck pain and stress
- An excellent resource on further neck exercises for relief of neck pain as well as strengthening the neck muscles
- Neck exercises for neck pain