Video Transcript:

Before we do any stretching with our neck, we always want to warm things up first, so we’re going to start with some neck mobility exercises first. 

To start with, we’re going to take our chin and we’re going to bring it over our shoulder. I’m going to try to take it as far as you can. We don’t want to force this. We’re not forcing this as hard as we can. We’re just going to do it nice and slowly. 

Ideally, our chin goes all the way over our shoulder. If you can’t do that, that’s okay. You might hear some creaking and some cracking with this. That’s okay. That’s just bringing movement into those joints, and we’re going to do each side here about five or six times, just nice and slowly. 

The next one we are going to do is going forward, flexion and backwards into extension, so you’re just bending your head down, and you’re bringing this up into extension.

You are just going to go through this nice and slowly. Again, we’re doing about five or six repetitions of each of these. If this is painful, back off on the range of motion or just stop doing it. But again, we’re just going to go nice and slowly. We’re not forcing it and again, about five times down and about five times up. 

Next one is side bending. So we’re going to go with our ear to the side and we’re just going to go nice and slowly. We’re going to bring the ear to the other side. And again, we’re just bringing movement into those joints. Movement is life. We have to keep things moving. That’s absolutely critical. When joints stop moving, they start to degenerate. 

So motion is really important and again, we’re just going to do about five or six times to each side there. Now we’re going to actually start stretching some of those muscles. Now that we’ve got them warmed up. 

So to start with, again we’re going to go to the side, we’re going to take our hand and we’re just going to gently pull it down to the one side. Ideally we don’t want the shoulder rising up really high. We want to try to keep it relatively neutral, relatively down. 

We’re going to hold this stretch for about 10 seconds and then we’re going to switch sides and do the opposite side. This is a great stretch for all these side sort of lateral neck muscles. It’s going to really get your SCM muscle, scalene muscles. Great stretch for that. And again, we’re going to hold it about 10 seconds and we’re going to do each side about two or three times here as we do this. 

None of this should be painful. If it’s painful back off a little bit. Don’t stretch quite as far. 

And the next one we are going to do is that instead of going straight sideways, we are going to be going diagonally downwards. So it’s going to look something like this. 

I’m going to rotate a little bit with my chin this way and then I’m going to go diagonally down. So I’m looking kind of down this way and it’s like this. So I’m pulling this direction down like this. 

This is a fantastic stretch. You’ll feel it right at the top here. Generally this is going to really get some of these suboccipital muscles. Those are some of the muscles in the back portion right at the top of your neck. For a lot of people, that creates a lot of tension there that can cause headaches.

So this is a great stretch for anybody with cervicogenic headaches. So again, we’re going to go diagonally down this way. We’re pulling this down, we’re trying not to let everything drop forward here. Keep your back relatively back. The head goes down like this. Great stretch for suboccipital muscles and for that levator scap muscle. 

So you can feel a lot of tension through here, but oftentimes you will feel tension running into the upper back, shoulder blade, scapula area. Great stretch for that. So again, we’re going to hold this. You’re going to hold that for about 10 seconds there. Then I’m going to switch sides again. I’m going to rotate my chin slightly this way. I’m going to go diagonally down this way. So I’m pulling in that direction there. I’m going to go down like this and I can really feel that stretching right through here. It’s an awesome stretch.

And again, we want to try to keep our shoulder from rising up. We want to try to keep it relatively down and relatively back. If we can, hold that about 10 seconds. And then the opposite side again here, again we’re holding it for about 10 seconds. We’re trying to do two to three repetitions per side here. 

The last one we were going to do is neck retraction. So the issue with neck retraction is that for so many of us, because we’re spending way more time sitting right now, we’re getting into this posture and our head starts to really translate forward and that puts a lot of pressure on our neck and upper back.

So neck retraction is literally, we take our chin from here and we’re pulling it back like this. So we’re basically trying to make double chins. Everybody loves that. So we’re pulling it back like this. 

We’re not going into extension like this. We’re not going into flexion like this. Our chin stays relatively horizontal. So again, I’m going from here, I’m pulling it back and holding that about two or three seconds only. Then I let it come back towards neutral. 

When I come back to neutral, I don’t stick my chin really far out afterwards like a chicken. We just want to go from coming back like this and then just back towards neutral, not exaggerated. Okay, so two or three seconds this way, let it go for just a second or two and then another two or three seconds.

Ideally we want to do about 10 to 15 repetitions of that. When we’re pulling it back, we don’t want to go as hard as we possibly can, so I’m not going 100% back, which would be this. I’m going more like 70 to 80% and that’s going to really engage some of those suboccipital muscles there. 

That’s going to really loosen some of that area and really open that area up. If you have any questions about any of these exercises, please feel free to ask in the comments section. If you know anybody you think would benefit from these exercises, please feel free to share this video with them. Have a great day.

What is the Neck Stretches Compilation?

This series of neck movements and stretches helps to restore proper movement to the neck joints while also releasing tension in the neck muscles. This will increase neck motion and often decrease neck pain over time.

Neck Stretches Compilation Instructions:

  • Step 1

    Begin with neck mobility exercises first. The goal is to warm your neck up, to get your blood flowing and muscles warmed up. This will decrease the likelihood of any neck strain or pain.

  • Step 2

    Begin by rotating your neck as far as you comfortably can over your one shoulder. Do this nice and slowly. Don’t force it as far as possible. This is a mobilization, not a stretch.

  • Step 3

    Then rotate your head to look over the other shoulder. Go to each side five times.

  • Step 4

    Next bring your head forward into flexion looking down, then back into extension looking up at the ceiling. Go slowly, and don’t force this. Aim for five repetitions.

  • Step 5

    Next bring your ear to your shoulder, nice and slowly again. Do this to each side five times.

  • Step 6

    Next begin neck stretches. Begin by taking your ear and bringing it to your shoulder, very gently applying extra tension with your hand to pull your ear slightly lower. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side, aiming for 2-3 repetitions per side.

  • Step 7

    Next rotate your chin 45 degrees to one side, and gently pull with your hand your head diagonally down. You should feel a stretch at the top of your neck, and often into your upper back. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side. Repeat 2-3 times per side.

  • Step 8

    The last one is neck retraction exercise. With your chin horizontal, pull it straight back, in effect making double chins. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds, then release. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.

  • Step 9

    If any of these neck stretches and exercises are painful, please stop, as some modification may be required.

  • Step 9

    If any of these neck stretches and exercises are painful, please stop, as some modification may be required.

  • Step 10

    For more videos on neck stretches and exercises, please refer to the SCM Stretch video, Scalene Muscle Stretch video, and the Neck retraction exercise video.

Read More About SCM Stretch Below

In this neck stretches compilation demonstration video, we will demonstrate proper neck mobilization and neck stretching techniques for neck pan relief and increased neck movement.

The video demonstrates neck mobility exercises (neck range of motion exercises), neck stretches, and neck exercises (neck retraction exercise or chin tuck exercise).

Follow the order if possible. Neck mobilization or neck range of motion exercises should precede neck stretches and neck exercises, to properly warm up your neck area first, and minimize the likelihood of any neck injury or neck strain.

The neck stretches and exercises should not be painful, although it is normal to feel some tension when you first start. If there is acute pain with any of the exercises, decrease the intensity of the neck stretches, or stop altogether.

These neck stretches and exercises will take time. If your neck pain or postural problems have been gradually developing over months or years, it will take time to start to undo and reverse this. Be patient, but expect over weeks and months to start to see significant improvement in your neck mobility and decreased pain.

These neck home exercises and neck home stretches are great because they require no equipment, can be done anywhere, and only take 5 minutes total.

Repetition is key, ideally once daily, every day.

For more videos on neck stretches and exercises, please refer to the SCM Stretch videoScalene Muscle Stretch video, and the Neck retraction exercise video.

Any questions, please ask.

For further neck correction exercises and stretches, please refer to our neck pain Toronto condition page here:

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