Stress Relieving Neck Stretches

By Michael Hinckley
Move slowly and carefully during neck exercises.
Move slowly and carefully during neck exercises.

Stress is often carried in the muscles, causing pain and aches that can affect your ability to work and play golf. Simple stretching exercises, if done correctly, can alleviate much of the pent-up stress you are carrying in your neck. All you need to get back into the swing is some straight-forward advice and a little quiet time by yourself.

Stress Relief

Use head half-rolls. Placing your left ear on your left shoulder, slowly rotate your head back and over to the right. Do not roll your head forward as it may cause nerves, muscles, or tendons to pinch, thus aggravating your neck troubles. Repeat 10 times with slow, deliberate movements.

Try chin tucks. With your shoulders square and your hands at your side, slowly touch your chin to your chest. Lift your chin slowly until it is parallel to the ground. This will stretch the muscles on the back of your neck, like the Levator Scapulae. Repeat this slowly five to 10 times.

Roll your shoulders. Either while sitting or standing, slowly raise your shoulders and rotate toward your back with your arms remaining at your sides. Repeat five to 10 times, then reverse direction—rotating your shoulders forward.

Stretch your scalene muscles. Located on the sides of your neck, the Scalenus Anterior can be slowly stretched by lowering your right shoulder and slowly leaning your head toward your left shoulder. Hold for five seconds and repeat five to 10 times. Repeat by lowering your left shoulder and leaning to the right for the same amount of time and repetitions.

Turn your head. With your chin remaining parallel to the floor, slowly turn your head to the left and right, holding for two to three seconds at the end of each turn. Repeat five to 10 times in order to stretch your Sternocleidomastoid and other muscles.

About the Author

Michael Hinckley received a Bachelor of Arts degree in US history from the University of Cincinnati, a Master of Arts degree in Middle East history from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Hinckley is conversant in Arabic, and is a part-time lecturer at two Midwestern universities.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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