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How to Stretch Your Neck

Jan 23, 2010

Knowing how to stretch your neck can help you warm up the muscles of this delicate region before a workout, and it can also help you relieve the tension of a long day. Here's how to stretch your neck safely.

1) Sit Upright

Find a chair where you can sit upright, with both feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart. When you're stretching your neck, it's crucial to maintain good spinal alignment. Make sure you're practicing good posture, with your shoulders centered directly over your hips and your head directly over your shoulders.

2) Look from Side to Side

Loosen up the muscles of a tight, sore neck by first looking slowly from side to side. Inhale as you move your head to one side, and take several deep breaths as you hold the position. Look as far over your shoulder as you can without forcing your neck into the position. Exhale as you slowly move your head back to center and inhale as you look to the other side. Look into the corners of your eyes to relieve eyestrain. Repeat this stretch two or three times.

3) Perform Neck Rolls

You can relieve tension in your neck and shoulders by performing neck rolls. Sit with your spine erect and your hands in your lap. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, let your head drop forward. Inhale as you roll your head up to one side so that your ear touches (or nearly touches) your shoulder. Keep your shoulders relaxed and take several deep breaths in this position.

Exhale as you roll your head back to center, and inhale as you roll it up and over the opposite shoulder. Pay attention to the muscles of your shoulders so that you can keep your shoulders relaxed as you perform this exercise. Do five to ten neck rolls to relieve tension in your neck and shoulders.

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