How to Stretch Your Neck

2 of 9 in Series: The Essentials of Stretching

This basic neck stretch is designed to loosen and relax the muscles on both sides of your neck. This procedure demonstrates the classic stretch that most fitness experts recommend.

Don’t stretch your muscles until you’ve at least warmed up thoroughly. Stretching at the end of your workout is even better. A post-workout stretch is a great way to relax and ease back into the rest of your day and has been shown to reduce injuries.

Follow these steps to stretch your neck:

  1. Stand or sit comfortably.

  2. Drop your left ear toward your left shoulder.

  3. Gently stretch your right arm down and a few inches out to the side, using your opposite hand to assist the stretch by gently pulling on the side of your head.

    The neck stretch loosens and relaxes the muscles in your neck. [Credit: Photograph by Sunstreak Pro
    Credit: Photograph by Sunstreak Productions, Inc.
    The neck stretch loosens and relaxes the muscles in your neck.
  4. Repeat the stretch on your right side.

Keep these tips in mind as you perform the neck stretch:

  • Keep your shoulders down and relaxed.

  • Your ear may or may not touch your shoulder, depending on how stiff you are.

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The Essentials of Stretching