Gentle Neck Stretching Exercises

1 of 5 : Four Neck Stretches

Daily living, poor posture, and injury often result in tight neck muscles. Learn these four gentle neck stretching exercises to decrease muscle tightness. The exercises can be performed while lying on your back (to provided assisted support) or in the seated position. Read on to review these four exercises.

2 of 5: Flexion Stretch – Chin to Chest

Begin each exercise with your neck in midline position. Your head should be centered and not tilted forward, back, or to the side. You can do this exercise while either lying flat on your back or sitting up.

Gently bend your head forward while bringing your chin toward your chest.
Stop when a stretch is felt in the back of your neck.
Hold position for 20 seconds.
Return to starting position.
Repeat this 4 more times.

3 of 5: Extension Stretch – Eyes to Sky

Begin each exercise with your neck in midline position. Your head should be centered and not tilted forward, back, or to the side. You can do this exercise while either lying flat on your back or sitting up.

Gently bend your head backward so that your eyes are looking up to the “sky”.
Stop when a stretch is felt in the front of your neck.
Hold position for 20 seconds.
Return to starting position.

Repeat this 4 more times.

4 of 5: Rotation – Side to Side

Begin each exercise with your neck in midline position. Your head should be centered and not tilted forward, back, or to the side. You can do this exercise while either lying flat on your back or sitting up.

Gently turn your head to the left, looking over your left shoulder.
Stop when a stretch is felt in the right side of your neck.
Hold position for 20 seconds.
Return to starting position.
Repeat above stretch 4 times.

Gently turn your head to the right, looking over your right shoulder.
Stop when a stretch is felt in the left side of your neck.
Hold position for 20 seconds.
Return to starting position.
Repeat above stretch 4 more times.

5 of 5: Lateral Flexion – Ear to Shoulder

Begin each exercise with your neck in midline position. Your head should be centered and not tilted forward, back, or to the side. You can do this exercise while either lying flat on your back or sitting up.

Gently bend your neck in attempts to touch your left ear to your shoulder.
Stop when a stretch is felt in the right side of your neck.
Hold position for 20 seconds.
Return to starting position.

Repeat above stretch 4 more times.
Gently bend your neck in attempts to touch your right ear to your shoulder.
Stop when a stretch is felt in the left side of your neck.
Hold position for 20 seconds.
Return to starting position.
Repeat above stretch 5 more times.

Source: physicaltherapy.about.com

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