Tension Busting
Neck Stretches



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Neck stretches to relieve tension and stress. Simple instructions and videos for these easy neck stretches.

The Stretching Handbook

The Stretching Handbook
A quick reference guide of 135 clear photos of every possible major stretching exercise.
Click here for more information

Just like all the other major joints in the body, your neck has many muscles acting upon it. The 2 main muscles being stretched in these exercises are:

  • Sternocleidomastoideus - Don't be fooled by the long name, it really is just 1 muscle. The name simply describes the bones where this muscle attaches, on either side of your neck.
  • Trapezius - This is a large muscle that goes from the back of your neck, down to the middle of your back, and across into the shoulder blade. These stretches focus on the upper (neck) part of trapezius.

Your neck muscles are put under loads of stress all day everyday. That's because our big heads weigh so much! Imagine holding up a bowling ball in your hand all day without moving. Your arm will be crying for help by the end.

That's what your neck does after a day of sitting, with no movement or stretching. It cries for help by tightening up and storing the whole day's stress. It's important to stretch your neck to relieve that tension.

It's also vital to stretch before and after exercise. Anyone who's had a stiff neck after sleeping awkwardly knows, tight neck muscles ain't something to be ignored.

Prepare your neck muscles for stretching, do some pulse raising exercises in your warm up.

After your workout, prepare your muscles for rest and recovery, take longer stretching thoroughly in your cool down.

These neck stretches should be held for at least 10 seconds, with slow smooth movements in and out of each stretch.

Be sure not to overstretch. The delicate bones, muscles and tendons of your neck won't appreciate it. Take it to where you feel the stretch and hold it there.

If you feel your neck is overly tight and constantly painful, try having it massaged and stretched by a professional.

Neck Stretches

Here are the stretches that will relax your neck:

  • To The Sides
  • 1 - Stand or sit facing forward, with your back straight.

    2 - Turn your neck to the right, so that you're looking over your shoulder. Keep your shoulders down and relaxed.

    3 - Feel the stretch in your neck.

    4 - Repeat by turning your neck to the left.

    Tip - Keep your chin level throughout.


  • Ear To Shoulder
  • 1 - Stand or sit facing forward, with your back straight.

    2 - Relax the left side of your neck, and allow your left ear to move towards your left shoulder. Keep your shoulders down and relaxed.

    3 - Feel the stretch in the right side of your neck.

    4 - Repeat with your right ear towards your right shoulder.

    Tip - Your chin should remain still throughout. Place your index finger on your chin, and use that as a guide to keep your chin still (your finger shouldn't move during the stretch).


  • Chin Down
  • 1 - Stand or sit facing forward, with your back straight.

    2 - Relax both sides of your neck, and allow your head to slowly move forward and down (chin goes towards your chest). Keep your shoulders down and relaxed.

    3 - Feel the stretch in the back of your neck.

    Tip - To assist the stretch, use both hands to very gently push the bottom edge of the back of your skull.



    Enjoy your neck stretches. Check out the following videos, submitted by people to help guide your stretches:



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